WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (Purdue Sports) — The Purdue women’s basketball team lost its second straight Monday, falling to visiting Ball State 66-60, marking the Boilermakers’ first home loss of the season and their first loss to their intrastate opponent since 1979. Purdue rallied in the final quarter, trimming the deficit as close as four down the stretch, but couldn’t get over the hump, falling to 5-4 on the season.
Purdue got off to a slow start, missing on its first seven shots and turning the ball over five times in the opening minutes to spot Ball State a 10-3 lead. However, a 3-pointer by Tiara Murphy sparked a 13-4 run over the final 3:39 of the period and the Boilermakers took a 16-14 lead into the quarter break.
Everything went cold for the Boilermakers over the next 20 mintues, shooting 21.9 percent in the second and third quarters (7-32), and allowing Ball State to open up a 44-32 lead going to the final frame. Purdue ramped up the pressure in the final 10 minutes, forcing eight Ball State turnovers and hammering the glass for five offensive rebounds. Unfortunately when the Cardinals got shots off, they made them, hitting 8-of-12 in the fourth, including a banked 3-pointer by junior point guard Carmen Grande to beat the shot clock with 2:31 remaining and push Ball State’s lead back to 60-52.
Purdue rallied one last time, using back-to-back buckets from sophomore Dominique Oden and senior Andreona Keys to cut it to four, and after a triple from Cardinal senior Mariah Monaco, freshman Karissa McLaughlin answered with an and-one with 1:12 left to make it 63-59. However, the Boilermakers’ next three shots fell by the wayside and Ball State hit a couple last free throws to seal it.
Sophomore Lamina Cooper led Purdue with 16 points, seven rebounds and three assists, as she an Oden both scored seven apiece in the final quarter. Keys added 11 points, nine rebounds and four assists, while sophomore Ae’Rianna Harris chipped in 10 points, nine rebounds and five blocks. Oden finished with nine points, five rebounds and a season-high five assists. Harris became the fastest Boilermaker to 100 career blocks Monday, hitting the mark in her 45th game and breaking the previous record of 55 games, set by assistant coach Lindsay Wisdom-Hylton.
Monaco paced Ball State with 18 points and 11 rebounds, while Grande posted 17 points, seven assists, six rebounds and four blocks. Senior guard Frannie Frazier added 12 points, four rebounds, four assists and three steals as the Cardinals continue their best start in program history at 7-0.
Purdue is back in action Friday, hosting Valparaiso at 7 p.m. in Mackey Arena.