ESTERO, Fla. (Purdue Sports) — A 20-point third quarter was not enough for the Purdue women's basketball team to erase an early deficit against No. 22 Gonzaga in the championship game of the Gulf Coast Showcase, taking runner-up honors after a 63-50 defeat.
The Boilermakers (6-1) won the rebounding battle 35-28 but found it hard to find their offensive rhythm, shooting 34.7% from the field on the night.
Foul trouble plagued Purdue over the opening 20 minutes, as Ae'Rianna Harris and Tamara Farquhar saw limited minutes. The Bulldogs took advantage of 14 first-half turnovers and a 31.6% shooting clip from the Boilermakers. The turning point came in the second quarter when Gonzaga put together a 12-3 run to open a 31-20 lead at the break.
Undaunted, the Boilermakers responded in the third with their fifth 20-point quarter of the season, knocking down 7-of-14 shots in the frame. Purdue's rally was nearly completed early in the fourth when back-to-back layups by Harris and Kayana Traylor trimmed the gap down to four.
That was as close as the game came to a tie. Gonzaga answered with an 8-0 run that proved too much for the Boilermakers to overcome.
Dominique Oden scored a team-high nine points, while Kayana Traylor added eight. Harris grabbed 10 rebounds and finished with six points in 27 minutes of action.
Harris and Oden were named to the Gulf Coast Showcase All-Tournament Team.
• Purdue leads the all-time series against Gonzaga 2-1.
• Harris fouled out for just the second time 111-game career.
• Sunday marked the first game this season without a player in double figures for the Boilermakers.
• Harris passed Stacey Lovelace for third in program history with 877 rebounds.
• Jenelle Grant scored a season-high seven points in 12 minutes, including her first 3-pointer as a Boilermaker.
• Head coach Sharon Versyp is still on 399 career victories.
The Boilermakers will travel to Blacksburg, Va., on Thursday for the Big Ten/ACC Challenge. Tipoff is slated for 7 p.m. on ACC Network Extra.
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