INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Purdue Sports) - Freshman Karissa McLaughlin made her 300th consecutive minute a big one, draining a game-winning jumper to lead the Purdue women’s basketball team to a 48-46 WNIT-opening win at IUPUI on Thursday. The Boilermakers overcame an 11-point, first-half deficit to topple the Jaguars and advance to the second round of the WNIT, where they’ll play at Ball State University on Sunday, March 18, at 2 p.m. ET.
The Boilermakers have rallied from behind all season, and Thursday was no different as IUPUI capitalized on 11 first half turnovers and 32 percent shooting from Purdue to race out to the lead. The Jaguars also took full advantage of early foul trouble on sophomore Ae’Rianna Harris, who had two fouls in the first quarter and picked up a third quickly in the second quarter.
The Jaguars led for the first 28:41 of regulation, hitting on 42 percent in the opening half and extending their lead to 11, 34-23, with 7:38 left in the third quarter. Purdue finally flipped the switch in the second half, scoring 20 points in the third quarter on 60 percent shooting. Six different Boilermakers found the bucket in the quarter, led by senior Andreona Keys who scored seven of her team-high 14 points in the frame.
The Boilermakers’ defense was smothering down the stretch as they held IUPUI to just one field goal over a 10 minute stretch between the third and fourth quarters. Meanwhile the offense put together a 14-4 run to take Purdue’s first lead of the game, 41-40, with 8:29 to play on a Keys jumper. Freshman Tamara Farquhar pushed the lead to three with her third bucket of the game and McLaughlin drilled a 3-pointer off an incredible hustle play by Harris with 5:30 to play.
IUPUI chipped away at it down the stretch, and tied it up with 35 seconds to play on an and-one from junior Tamya Sims, but the free throw was off the mark and gave the Boilermakers a shot to win it. McLaughlin took advantage knocking down her fifth bucket of the game and completing the impressive comeback victory.
McLaughlin joined Keys in double figures with 13, hitting three triples to extend her freshman record to 70 and move to fourth on the Boilermakers’ single-season record list. Keys added five rebounds and two steals to her scoring total, hitting 6-of-13 from the field and 2-of-4 from 3-point range. Sophomore Dominique Oden was just shy of a double-double with nine points and eight rebounds, and Harris had nine rebounds and five blocked shots despite playing only 23 minutes, her fewest since Dec. 8 vs. Valparaiso. Farquhar had a monster second half, and was pest defensively for the Jaguars, finishing with six points, seven rebounds, three blocked shots and two steals.
Purdue and Ball State meet for the second time this season Sunday, as the Cardinals ended a 16-game Boilermaker win streak in the series on Dec. 4, earning a 66-60 win in Mackey Arena. The Cardinals finished third in the Mid-American Conference and are 25-6 on the season.
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