WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (Purdue Sports) — The Purdue women's basketball team finished the 2020 portion of its season with an 83-72 win over Nebraska at Mackey Arena. The Boilermakers posted a pair of players in double figures with six others tallying at least five points.
Kayana Traylor followed up her career-high outing against Penn State with another 20-point performance. The junior scored 21 points on 7-of-16 shooting and 6-for-7 at the line with a game-high seven assists. Karissa McLaughlin found her rhythm in her second game back from injury, recording 13 points from 5-of-6 field goals, including a perfect 3-for-3 from behind the arc.
The Boilermakers (5-2, 2-1) shot 47.6% from the field and connected on 10 3-pointers in the win. Purdue won the rebounding battle 40-30 and turned 12 offensive rebounds into 13 points, while holding the Cornhuskers (3-3, 1-2) to no second-chance points.
Senior Fatou Diagne posted another career high, following back-to-back outings with 13 points. On Sunday, the Senegalese international hauled down 17 rebounds and just missed out on a double-double, again, with nine points.
Keeping the common theme this season, the Boilermakers had another strong start with makes on four of their first five field goals. Following a Nebraska run that put the visitors up four in the first, Purdue responded with a 25-12 run, including 13 straight points, to the midway point of the second and carried a seven-point lead into the break. Purdue shot 50% over the opening 20 minutes, with six triples, while committing just six turnovers.
In the second half, Purdue kept its distance, building a lead to as many 15 in the third. Traylor and McLaughlin combined for 16 second-half points, while Diagne notched seven points and seven rebounds over the final 20 minutes. Purdue's defense shut the Cornhuskers down from the outside, after the visitors connected on four triples in the first half.
McLaughlin's third 3-pointer of the game with 4:30 to play in the fourth, coupled with a 6-for-8 mark at the line in the period, helped the Boilermakers head into the holiday break with the win.
THE LONG BALL
The Boilermakers drained 10 3-pointers for the second time this season. In addition to McLaughlin's trio, Cassidy Hardin and Madison Layden each knocked down a pair. Jenelle Grant, Brooke Moore and Traylor all hit from the outside, as well. Since the slow start over the first two games, Purdue is 42-of-92 from distance. It marked just the eighth time since 2015-16 that the Boilermakers reached double figures beyond the arc.
TAKE CARE OF THE BASKETBALL
Purdue tallied 16 assists on made shots for its sixth game this season with at least 50% assisted field goals. Traylor topped five dimes for the fourth time this season and 23rd time in her career. Layden matched her career high with four helpers. The Boilermakers trimmed down their giveaways to just 12 on the afternoon, which turned into just 11 points.
Head coach Sharon Versyp on McLaughlin, Moore and Traylor…
All three of them can score the ball. They're very quick. Karissa obviously has the 3-point range and can hide behind screens. She'll get her 15-foot jumper back. Kayana has just expanded her game to another level. Brooke is just a dynamic player. We're able to rotate people in, and we don't lose much. It was great to get them all on the floor today, and they played well.
Karissa McLaughlin on returning to play …
It's a great feeling to be back out there with my teammates. I've been dying to be out there. To finally get back out there, and the coaching staff to give me the opportunity, it was awesome. I look forward to the future. My teammates played great today. It was a great win for us.
Kayana Traylor on the dynamic players on offense…
At any given time, any of us can score. We can push the ball and run. We're able to set each other up and interchange different spots. It's definitely a good thing for us to show different looks.
• Purdue now leads the all-time series 10-6 with a 3-3 mark at Mackey Arena.
• With her three 3-pointers, McLaughlin is now four triples away from breaking Courtney Moses' all-time mark of 240.
• Diagne topped 10 rebounds for the first time this season and fourth time in her career.
• Rickie Woltman set a career high with seven rebounds.
• Traylor has led the Boilermakers in assists five times this season and 34 times in her career.
• Purdue topped 80 points for the fourth time this season and the 20th time since the 2015-16 season.
• Since breaking Purdue's 3-point drought against Bowling Green, Layden has made a triple in five straight games.
• Hardin's pair marked the 19th time in her career with multiple 3-pointers in a game.
• The Boilermakers outscored Nebraska in bench points 32-0.
• Head coach Sharon Versyp needs one more win to join the 300 club at Purdue.
The Boilermakers will have a lengthy period before their next game Jan. 3 at home against Michigan State at 2 p.m. on BTN+.