MOUNT PLEASANT, Mich. (Purdue Sports) — The Purdue women’s basketball team overcame a tough first half to takedown Central Michigan on the road Friday, 79-69 at McGuirk Arena. Freshman Karissa McLaughlin scored a team-high 21 points, while senior Andreona Keys and sophomore Tiara Murphy poured in 19 points apiece to lead the Boilermakers to a 1-0 start.
Purdue came out of the gates slow, making just 26 percent in the first quarter and just 25 points for the first half as the Boilermakers trailed by 12 at the break. Central Michigan rode the hot-hand of Reyna Frost early as she racked up a double-double before the break: 17 points and 11 rebounds.
However it was all Boilermakers coming out of the half, scoring a program-record 36 third-quarter points to claim the lead and roll to the finish. Murphy and McLaughlin led the charge, combining for three straight 3’s to erase the majority of the deficit, and then Murphy pushed the squad ahead for good, breaking a 47-47 tie with her fifth of six 3’s for the game.
Central Michigan made one last push, cutting it to six, 66-60, but McLaughlin had a 3-pointer and four free throws down the stretch to hold the lead and seal it up.
McLaughlin added five assists and four steals, while Keys tallied a team-high eight rebounds. Sophomore Lamina Cooper matched McLauglin with four swipes as well.
Purdue has its home opener Wednesday, hosting Miami University at 7 p.m. ET in Mackey Arena.
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