Harris leads Purdue past Bowling Green in non-conference finale

The Purdue women's basketball team closed the non-conference campaign with a win, outlasting Bowling Green, 81-74 to improve to 9-3 on the season. Ae'Rianna Harris and Kayana Traylor accounted for 42 points to lead the way.

Posted: Dec 21, 2019 5:48 PM
Updated: Dec 21, 2019 5:49 PM

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (Purdue Sports) — The Purdue women's basketball team closed the non-conference campaign with a win, outlasting Bowling Green, 81-74 to improve to 9-3 on the season. Ae'Rianna Harris and Kayana Traylor accounted for 42 points to lead the way.

The Boilermakers stayed perfect at Mackey Arena this season behind a 47.5% field goal percentage, including a 46.2% clip from distance. Purdue also knocked down 19-of-25 attempts at the free throw line, the second-highest tally this season.

The opening half was one of the best for the Boilermakers. Shooting 60% from the field and knocking down five triples, Purdue put 38 points up on the board, the tied for third highest this year. Lyndsey Whilby gave a spark off the bench with all 13 of her points coming in the opening 20 minutes.

Unfortunately, the Falcons (6-5) could not miss either. The visitors nailed eight 3-pointers in the first half to take a five-point lead into the break. Much of Bowling Green's success came from 16 points on 11 Purdue turnovers.

The Boilermakers tightened things up in the second half, committing just three giveaways. Karissa McLaughlin's scored all five of her points, as the Boilermakers took the lead on a 9-0 run late the third quarter. After the Falcons tied the game at 61-61 in the fourth quarter, Traylor and Tamara Farquhar gave the Boilermakers the lead for good with a 5-0 run. Purdue went 11-for-13 at the charity stripe in the fourth quarter to seal the win.

Harris finished with a game-high 23 points and 14 rebounds. Tamara Farquhar also notched a double-double of 10 points and 10 rebounds. Traylor dished out eight assists to go with a career-high 19 points.

RI's BIG GAME
Harris' third double-double of the year finished four points and three rebounds shy of her career highs. The senior rejected five shots, marking the 17th game of her career with at least five blocks. The Indianapolis native now has 25 career double-doubles, pulling even with Lindsay Wisdom-Hylton for second in program history. She is two away from Stacey Lovelace's record.

QUOTABLES
Head coach Sharon Versyp after the game….
I knew it was going to be a tough game. Bowling Green is a good, well-coached team. We didn't do a good job of running them off the 3-point line until the second half. I was really proud of our resilience and fight. I thought Lyndsey Whilby did a great job in the first half keeping us in the game. In the second half, we did a good job of getting the ball inside. I'm very proud that we're 9-3.

On a quick look back at the non-conference season…
I saw a different fight. We fight differently against different styles of play. We played a variety of styles, and that's what we're going to face in the Big Ten. Our growth and maturity really showed itself when we got in some tough spots.

Ae'Rianna Harris on the double-double outing…
The dominance today came from the confidence I have in myself, as well as the confidence that my teammates and coaches have for me. I knew that even if I missed the last one, the next one would go in. Keeping that mindset throughout the game really kept me settled.

NOTES
• Purdue leads the all-time series 7-3.
• The Boilermakers are 9-3 entering Big Ten play for the second straight season.
• Farquhar's double-double was her second of the season.
• Purdue totaled 40 points in the paint.
• The Boilermakers assisted on 75% (21-25) of their made field goals.
• The 81 points were the most since Nov. 15, 2018 against Western Illinois.
• Traylor's eight assists were one shy of her career high. The sophomore set career high with nine made free throws.
• Purdue had four players in double figures for the third time this season.
• Versyp was on the sideline for her 450th game as the head coach at Purdue and her 513th game with the Boilermakers, including four years as a starter from 1985-1988.
• Purdue's largest lead of the game came with 10 seconds remaining.
• The Boilermakers hauled down 41 rebounds to Bowling Green's 26 boards.

UP NEXT
The Boilermakers will travel to Columbus, Ohio, to face Ohio State in the Big Ten opener next Saturday. The game will be played at St. John Arena.

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