WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (Purdue Sports) — Karissa McLaughlin dropped 17 points and became the 35th member of the 1,000-point club on Wednesday afternoon, as the Purdue women's basketball team cruised to 67-50 win over Western Kentucky at Mackey Arena.
In front of more than 1,700 students from local students for Education Day, the Boilermakers (8-3) shot 42.9% from the field and posted a rebounding margin of plus-16 to improve to 5-0 at home this season. Defensively, Purdue held the Lady Toppers (8-3) 28 points below their season average of 78 with just a 34% shooting percentage.
Purdue needed to bounce back from a slow start that saw it trail by five in the opening quarter. Sparked by back-to-back field goals from Tamara Farquhar and 3-pointers from McLaughlin and Jenelle Grant, the Boilermakers went on a 10-point run to take a five-point lead.
The Lady Toppers (8-3) stayed within reach, tying the game at 31-31 with 8:19 to play in the third. The Boilermakers' defense kicked into high gear to allow just five points the rest of the frame, while opening a 13-point lead to start the fourth quarter. Purdue went 9-of-12 at the free throw line over the final 10 minutes to stretch the gap to as many as 20 points.
McLaughlin went 6-of-14 from the field with a trio of 3-pointers. Dominique Oden chipped in with 14 points and was one rebound shy of her second career double-double. Tamara Farquhar finished in double figures for the third time this season with 11 points on the afternoon.
McLaughlin joined the 1,000-point club with her 3-pointer with 5:24 remaining in the fourth. The junior is the 18th Boilermaker to reach the milestone as a junior and the 21st to hit the mark in less than 100 games. The 79 games it took to reach 1,000 points tied Carol Emanuel, Katie Douglas and Dominique Oden for the fifth-fastest pace. McLaughlin is the third 1,000-point scorer on the current roster, joining Oden and Ae'Rianna Harris.
Head coach Sharon Versyp after the game…
Western Kentucky is a very good basketball team. They're all over the place to force turnovers, get deflections and score transitions baskets. We didn't allow that to happen today. We really locked down in the third quarter, holding them to just eight points. Our rebounding and defense were the keys for us today.
Versyp on McLaughlin's accolades…
To hit 1,000 points as a junior is incredible. She's playing fantastic basketball for us right now, and she's done that ever since she set foot on campus. I was glad she was able to do that in front of our fans in Mackey. She's got many more points to go.
Karissa McLaughlin on joining the 1,000-point club…
The feeling is amazing. To be able to reach that milestone with the support of the coaches, my teammates and fans is an incredible honor. I'm glad to be a part of the club at Purdue.
• The Boilermakers notched their first win over Western Kentucky. The Lady Toppers hold a 2-1 series lead.
• McLaughlin has now hit at least one 3-pointer in 68 career games.
• Purdue put at least three players in double figures for the seventh time this season.
• The 50 points allowed tied the third fewest given up this season by the Boilermakers. It was the 93rd time in the Versyp era that an opponent failed to score at least 50 points.
• With six rebounds, Harris moved into second place in Purdue history with 902 boards.
• McLaughlin and Kayana Traylor led the way with five assists apiece, as Purdue notched 15 helpers.
Purdue will close out the non-conference campaign against Bowling Green on Saturday at noon. Fans are encouraged to bring a stuffed animal to throw on the court, which will be given to local charities. Santa Pete will be available for photos, and the first 1,000 fans will receive a Purdue ugly Christmas sweater t-shirt.