WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (Purdue Sports) — The Purdue women's basketball team put together a dominant display Friday in Mackey Arena, posting a 95-49 victory over visiting Valparaiso. Five players scored in double figures for the Boilermakers, paced by sophomore Lamina Cooper with a career-high 17 points as they snapped a two-game losing streak and improved to 6-4 on the season.
The Crusaders came to play Friday, coming out scorching the nets to the tune of 53.3 percent (8-15) in the first quarter and hitting 14 of their first 25 shots of the field. Junior Meredith Hamlet did the heavy lifting for Valpo, scoring 17 points in the first 15 minutes, hitting 5-of-5 from the 3-point line. However, the Boilermakers were locked and loaded as well, draining 9-of-16 in the opening quarter and continuing that fiery run through the entire first half.
A Hamlet triple tied the game, 35-35, with 4:32 to go in the first half and a media timeout was called shortly after a foul inside on the Crusaders that would send Purdue sophomore Ae'Rianna Harris to the line after the break. It was all Boilermakers the rest of the way as they would surrender just 14 points over the remainder of regulation, while pouring it on the offensive end and running away with their largest victory since a 43-point win over Nebraska last season (Jan. 26, 2017).
With a quick turnaround coming, Purdue head coach Sharon Versyp was able to keep all her players under 30 minutes, play the entire bench and get nine Boilermakers in the scoring column. Cooper added a career-high three blocks, two steals and two assists to her career-high scoring total, while Harris turned in her fourth double-double of the season, stuffing the stat sheet with 15 points, 11 rebounds, four blocks and four assists in 23 minutes. Senior Andreona Keys just missed a double-double with nine points, 11 rebounds and four assists and sophomore Dominique Oden added 15 points and a pair of steals. The freshmen tandem of Karissa McLaughlin and Tamara Farquhar rounded out the list of Boilermakers in double figures as McLaughlin was 4-of-6 from 3, finishing with 14 points and a team-high five assists, and Farquhar chipped in 11 points and four rebounds, hitting 4-of-5 from the floor.
Juniors Nora Kiesler and Abby Abel chimed in as well for the Boilermakers as Kiesler turned in six points, five rebounds, two blocks and a steal, while Abel scored a career-high five points in the closing minutes of the win, giving Purdue its highest team point total since a 90-point effort vs. Iowa on Jan. 24, 2016.
Valparaiso drops to 3-4 with the loss, its third straight, and the Crusaders' 13 second-half points is one of the lowest opponent scoring totals in Purdue history, just shy of the mark of 10 set by Minnesota in 2006. Despite her red-hot start, Hamlet finished with 19 points to lead Valpo and was the only Crusader in double figures.
The Boilermakers return to action Sunday in Mackey Arena, hosting Ohio University for Purdue's first Big Ten Network game of the season. Star Wars Day tips at 2 p.m., and the first 1,000 fans with a canned food item may receive a limited-edition Purdue women's basketball Star Wars poster featuring Keys, Cooper, Harris and Oden.
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