WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (Purdue Sports) — Dominique Oden opened her senior campaign with a flash Sunday, as the Purdue women's basketball team topped Milwaukee 68-55 at Mackey Arena.
The Atlanta native went 4-of-5 from behind the arc to lead the Boilermakers in scoring with 16 points.
Purdue (1-0) connected on nine triples for the game. Kayana Traylor made a pair from downtown to join Oden in double figures with 15 points. Ae'Rianna Harris chipped in 12 points, including a 6-of-8 mark from the free-throw line.
The Boilermakers kept Milwaukee (1-1) running all afternoon by making the extra pass. The hosts totaled 18 assists on 23 made baskets. Traylor and freshman Roxane Makolo led the way with five helpers apiece.
Defensively, Harris wasted little time making an impact on the defensive end. The reigning Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year blocked a trio of shots, all of which came in the opening 20 minutes. The Boilermakers totaled six blocked shots, four steals and 12 forced turnovers.
After taking the lead for good 25 seconds into the game, Purdue grew the gap to eight at the break. Back-to-back jumpers by Karissa McLaughlin and Traylor helped extend the lead to 14 in the third, before a nine-point run to start the fourth opened a 24-point advantage.
FLYING OUT OF THE GATES
The Boilermakers opened the game on an 8-0 run, igniting the Purdue faithful in Mackey. Traylor knocked down a mid-range jumper on the first possession of the season, followed by 3-pointers from McLaughlin and Oden. Purdue made three of its first four shots, while Milwaukee missed a trio of attempts and committed one turnover.
Head coach Sharon Versyp's thoughts on the game...
"I thought when we played really good defense, which allowed us to go run and read their defense, I thought we did some really good things. We have to do a better job of executing at the end and understanding the pace of the game. I thought Karissa was the glue to our team. Her and Tamara Farquhar did a great job together. Karissa had a great floor game and played solid defense against No. 10. She made everyone around her better."
Head coach Sharon Versyp on Dominique Oden's play…
"I thought her second half was really good. Her and Kayana were 2-of-12 in the first half, and I told them that we needed them to score for their team. Dominique came out very confident and knocked down a three right away. She needs to do that right out of the gate in the first half. Statistically, when she gets going in the first half, we do really well."
Sophomore guard Kayana Traylor on the team's transition offense…
"From the exhibition to this first game out, we really improved. I thought I did better of not taking two or three dribbles before moving up the floor. We want to up the pace and make people run with us. We score the best whenever we're in transition, and I thought we did a good job of that today."
• Purdue now leads the all-time series against Milwaukee 3-0.
• For the first time since the 2016-17 season opener, Purdue did not feature a freshman in its first starting lineup of the year – McLaughlin in 2017 and Cassidy Hardin in 2018.
• Harris' three blocks gave her 287 in her career, 13 away from being the first Boilermaker with 300.
• Oden moved into seventh in program history with 176 made 3-pointers, passing Ukari Figgs' 174.
• Tamara Farquhar hauled down a team-high seven rebounds.
• Freshmen Roxane Makolo, Rickie Woltman and Bria Harmon all made their Purdue debuts. Makolo featured for nearly 20 minutes of action.
• The starting lineup of Farquhar, Harris, McLaughlin, Oden and Traylor notched its 11th win, dating back to last year.
• Sunday was Oden's fourth straight game in double figures and the 76th of her career.
• Harris' six makes at the charity stripe were her most since Jan. 6 last season against Indiana.
• McLaughlin knocked down multiple 3-pointers for the 49th time in her career.
• Defensively, the Boilermakers held Milwaukee's Jamie Reit scoreless. Reit enter Sunday's contest after scoring 31 in the Panthers' season opener last week.
• Purdue is 37-8 all-time in season openers, 26-0 in season openers at Mackey Arena and 13-1 under head coach Sharon Versyp.
The Boilermakers will hit the road next Thursday for a clash at Chattanooga. Tipoff is slated for 7 p.m. on ESPN+ and 95.5 BOB FM.
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