WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (Purdue Sports) — Kayana Traylor dished out a career-high nine assists, as the Purdue women's basketball team held off a late charge by Northern Illinois to win 68-63 Sunday at Mackey Arena.
The Boilermakers saw their lead shrink to two points with 19 seconds to play, before Tamara Farquhar put the game out of reach with a pair of free throws.
In a tale of two halves, the Boilermakers (4-0) found themselves trailing 35-30 after the opening 20 minutes after Northern Illinois (2-3) connected on eight 3-pointers behind a 57.1% shooting from the outside. Purdue's halftime adjustments cooled off the Huskies' hot shooting, allowing just one 3-pointer the rest of the way
The Boilermakers opened the second half on an 11-2 run with back-to-back 3-pointers by Dominique Oden. Purdue went 4-of-6 from the field to start the fourth quarterto create a 14-point advantage with 6:56 to play, a gap that proved too much for the Huskies' 17-8 run to overcome at the end.
Traylor played the role of stat stuff all afternoon. In addition to her nine helpers, the sophomore scored a season-high 16 points, went 6-of-8 at the line, connected on a pair of 3-pointers and recorded one steal.
Oden joined Traylor in double figures with 15 points, her fourth double-digit game of the year. Karissa McLaughlin also poured in 12 points on the afternoon.
Ae'Rianna Harris kept the paint protected, as she hauled down 10 rebounds and turned away a season-best five shots. Farquhar brought down eight boards, while Roxane Makolo tallied seven rebounds in 12 minutes of action.
GOOD FROM DOWNTOWN
The Boilermakers matched their season high with nine 3-pointers against Northern Illinois. Purdue shot 36% from behind the line. McLaughlin led the way with a trio of triples, while Oden, Traylor and Cassidy Hardin each chipped in with two.
Head coach Sharon Versyp on the defensive shift between halves…
"I think Tamara Farquhar is our defensive stopper. She got two quick fouls, and she normally sets the tone defensively. In the second half, you saw her rebounding, getting her hands the ball and making steals. The game totally changed with her in it on both ends of the floor. We're still a work in progress with getting others to step up in certain situations. The other thing was that they were hitting 3-pointers with our hands in their face."
Versyp on the 3-point shooting…
"For some of our players, their job is to shoot from the outside. Kayana and Dominique were 2-for-3. Karissa was 3-for-11. She took a lot of shots. Cassidy Hardin played very well. She knocked down a couple of 3-pointers, which was huge for her."
Dominique Oden on the how the team stepped up in the second half…
"The talk in the locker room was be aggressive and guard the three. We can't allow people to just shoot in our faces. We need to be up on the ball. We just told ourselves that we need to get everything together, and I thought we went out and executed well."
• Purdue leads the all-time series against Northern Illinois 6-0.
• Cassidy Hardin went 2-for-7 from downtown in her 2019-20 debut.
• Jenelle Grant picked up an assist in her first career game as a Boilermaker.
• The Boilermakers held Northern Illinois to 1-of-7 from behind the arc over the final 20 minutes.
• Traylor finished one assist shy of her first career double-double.
• Makolo's seven rebounds were a career high.
• The five blocks for Harris were her most since six rejections at Minnesota on Feb. 14 last season. It was her 16th career game with at least five blocks.
• Harris is now five blocks away from joining the 300-rejection club, which would make her the first Boilermaker to achieve the feat.
The Boilermakers will head to Estero, Fla., next weekend for the Gulf Coast Showcase. The tournament opens next Friday at 7:30 p.m. against Drake.