WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (Purdue Sports) — Purdue women’s basketball’s Ae’Rianna Harris had a breakout game for the Old Gold & Black on Wednesday, posting a career-high 22 points and 11 rebounds in a 75-66 win over visiting Miami University at Mackey Arena. The sophomore forward connected on 10-of-14 from the field in her first career double-double as the Boilermakers improved to 2-0.
Harris was the rock inside for the Boilermakers, leading a charge of 54 points in the paint and a 28-point edge inside over the Redhawks. The total is Purdue’s highest inside since tallying 56 against Georgia Tech in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge on November 28, 2012. She went on to add three blocks, an assist and a steal in a career-most 36 minutes of action.
The first quarter was a see-saw battle with Miami leading by as many as four points, but the Boilermakers finishing the frame with a 15-14 lead after an and-one finish by freshman Karissa McLaughlin in the closing seconds. Purdue got things cooking in the second, using a 14-2 run over the last five minutes to race out to a 39-26 halftime lead, and outscoring Miami 24-12 in the quarter. The Redhawks had cut it to one on a jumper by senior Kayla Brown, 25-24, but the Boilermakers started getting out in transition, getting a couple quick buckets from sophomore Miracle Gray and then three straight to close the half from senior Andreona Keys.
Miami sophomore guard Lauren Dickerson got things going in the second half for the Redhawks, hitting her first four shots after being held to 1-of-10 shooting in the first half. However, the Boilermakers had an answer every time, getting clutch buckets from Keys, sophomore Lamina Cooper and a triple from fellow sophomore Tiara Murphy to keep Miami at bay. Despite 20 second-half points from Dickerson, Miami could draw no closer than eight points in the final 20 minutes and Purdue held on for the win.
Joining Harris in double figures were Keys, Cooper and Murphy, posting 12, 10 and 10, respectively. Keys added eight rebounds, three assists and a pair of steals to her scoring total, while Cooper dished out a career-high six assists and Murphy finished 4-of-5 from the field. McLaughlin chipped in five assists for the Boilermakers, while fellow first-year Tamara Farquhar added eight points and four rebounds in 16 minutes of action.
Miami falls to 1-1 with the loss, despite an impressive stat line from Dickerson. The Indianapolis native finished with 22 points, seven assists and four rebounds, while junior teammate Kendall McCoy chimed in with 16 points and five boards and sophomore Savannah Kluesner added 12 points and seven rebounds.
Purdue is back at home Saturday, hosting Lamar University for a 1 p.m. tip in Mackey Arena. The game marks the first-ever meeting between the Boilermakers and Cardinals and the 194th opponent in program history.
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