MUNCIE, Ind. (Purdue Sports) — The Purdue women's basketball team opened the 2018-19 season in impressive fashion Wednesday, posting an 80-38 road win over Ball State at Worthen Arena. The Boilers got off to a slow start, but once they got things clicking it was all Old Gold & Black as they rolled the Cardinals to the tune of 42-18 in the second half and won their season opener for the 36th time in program history and the 12th time in 13 seasons under head coach Sharon Versyp.
Four Boilermakers scored in double figures Wednesday, paced by junior Dominique Oden with 17 points, 15 of which came in the second half. She had an outstanding follow up to the exhibition contest, stuffing the stat sheet again with four rebounds, three assists and four steals. Sophomore Karissa McLaughlin added 14 points, five rebounds and four assists, canning four 3-pointers, while freshman Kayana Traylor and sophomore Lyndsey Whilby dropped in 12 and 11 points, respectively, in their Boilermaker debuts.
Sophomore Tamara Farquhar put together an incredible floor game for the Boilermakers, matching a career high with 13 rebounds and chipping in five points, three steals and a pair of assists. She and Traylor were menacing on the defensive end, constantly applying ball pressure and disrupting the Cardinals' offensive flow. Freshman Nyagoa Gony had an impressive debut as well, tallying five points, nine rebounds and a pair of blocked shots. Junior Ae'Rianna Harris dealt with foul trouble Wednesday, playing just 19 minutes, but came up with eight points, eight rebounds and three blocks in limited action.
After both teams went scoreless for the first three minutes of action, the Boilermakers were still able to race out to a 17-6 lead after the first quarter. McLaughlin got the offensive going with a pair of second-quarter 3's, and the advantage stretched to 38-20 at the break. Oden sparked the second-half rally with 10 points in the third, while the Purdue defense held Ball State to just two buckets in the frame. Whilby did the bulk of the fourth-quarter scoring, sinking eight points late as the Boilermakers ran away.
The 42-point victory is the fifth-largest road win in program history and the Boilermakers' biggest since a 40-point win at Ohio in 1998. It is the 36th time Purdue has held an opponent under 40 points, remaining undefeated all-time when doing so, and the 44th time the Boilermakers have beat a team by 40 points or more.
The Boilermakers return to Mackey Arena on Sunday, hosting Harvard for the first meeting between the two programs at 2 p.m. in West Lafayette. The game will air live on BTN Plus and the Purdue Radio Network.