WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (Purdue Sports) — Sophomore Dominique Oden erupted for a career-high 26 points to lead the Purdue women's basketball team to a 63-60 win over visiting Northwestern on Thursday at Mackey Arena. The win is the third straight for the Boilermakers, and their sixth in a row on their home floor, improving to 13-7 overall and 4-2 in Big Ten Conference play.
Oden wasted no time lighting up the scoreboard, hitting her first three 3's and scoring 11 of the Boilermakers' 20 first quarter points. Senior Andreona Keys, sophomore Ae'Rianna Harris and freshman Karissa McLaughlin did an excellent job of finding her on the perimeter and keeping the ball in the hot shooter's hand as Purdue assisted on all six of its made field goals and led 20-11 at the break.
Things went cold for both sides in the second quarter, combining to shoot 8-for-28 from the field, but the visiting Wildcats found ways to trim the Purdue lead to as few as two points on two occasions early in the frame. The Boilermakers held on to their lead and both teams went stale for almost four minutes at the end of the quarter, but Oden came through with some last-second theatrics, snaring a Keys miss in the closing seconds and stuffing it back home for a 29-23 advantage at the half.
Purdue maintained its lead in the third quarter behind a balanced scoring attack as five different players found the bucket, led by Harris' six points. Keys keyed a Boilermaker run late in the quarter, assisting on three straight buckets to push the lead to 12, 42-30, but Northwestern contested again, getting a triple from sophomore Abi Scheid at the end of the quarter to make it 44-36 Purdue with 10 minutes left to play.
After trading baskets to start the fourth, Northwestern went on a 7-0 run behind freshman Lindsey Pulliam and knifed the Purdue lead down to three, 50-47, with 5:51 to play. However, Oden went back to the well again, taking a feed from Keys and connecting from downtown to push the lead back to six. Every Northwestern bucket had a Boilermaker answer the rest of the way as Purdue shot 70 percent in the final stanza. The Wildcats fouled late to extend the clock, but Oden hit free throws to maintain the edge and finish off the victory.
Oden's career-high scoring total was accompanied by five rebounds, four on the offensive end, and three assists, playing her first career complete game. Keys and McLaughlin joined her on the floor for the entire 40 minutes, dealing seven and five assists apiece, while Harris came up just shy of a double-double with 14 points, nine rebounds, two assists, four blocks and two steals. Freshman Tamara Farquhar had a solid outing with eight points, six rebounds and two steals, and junior Nora Kiesler gave her teammates another lift off the bench with six points and three rebounds in 10 minutes.
Pulliam led Northwestern with 20 points, while Scheid chipped in 18, including 4-of-5 shooting from 3-point range. Junior Pallas Kunaiyi-Akpanah just missed a double-double with nine points and 13 rebounds as the Wildcats fell to 9-11 overall and 2-4 in conference play.
The Boilermakers are off this weekend and return to action Wednesday at Nebraska for an 8 p.m. ET tip at Pinnacle Bank Arena.
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