Tonight the Purdue women opened up the season by playing Austin Peay in the first round of the Preseason WNIT Tournament. Things were going good for the team early. Brittany Rayburn was on fire from behind the arc. She hit four threes early on, and looked unstoppable. Sophomore KK Houser also was looking good. That is until she went in for a layup, was hit hard, and apparently landed awkwardly on her right knee. Immediately you knew that she was badly hurt. She was pounding the court hard with her hand in pain and yelling. That is something that you really don’t want to see. Eventually she was helped up, and painfully was helped to off the court. She came back later in the game, but was limping badly. After watching an exchange between her and coach Sharon Versyp when she came back to the bench I had a bad feeling about the rest of her season. Houser and Versyp embraced for what seemed like a long time. When they were done you could see that KK was visibly shaken. She looked like the news was setting in. She won’t get an MRI until next week, but I would guess that the news is not good.
After Houser was injured freshman Courtney Moses came into the game. I had not seen her play yet, and was a little worried that a true freshman was in control at the point. It turns out that I had no need to be worried. She scored 20 points in her Boiler debut to go along with five assists. She was fun to watch. Sophomore Sam Ostarello had a great night as well. Sam had 18 points and nine rebounds coming off the bench. In all tonight the bench had 64 points and 22 rebounds. At one point Sam was 8 for 8 from the field. If she had not taken another shot she would have set a Purdue field goal percentage record. She was on fire though so you don’t want that to happen. Her first miss came on a shot that it appeared she was fouled on. If not for the injury tonight would have been a great start to the season. The Boilers won 93-53 with everyone contributing.
As I said earlier Brittany Rayburn came out on fire scoring twelve of the first twenty points for the Boilers. After that though she made just one free throw. It could not have helped that she was elbowed in the ear by an Austin Peay player. Her ear was bleeding fairly bad, and she had to go to the locker room to get it taken care of. When she did come back into the game she was not the same. It really didn’t matter though because the Boilers were up big.
Purdue plays Monday night in the second round of the tournament against Toledo. Hopefully we can have a win that everyone can feel good about.