After being on the wrong end of a blowout the last couple of games the Boilers returned the favor yesterday afternoon in Mackey Arena. Purdue came out looking for blood, and found a donor. The Murray State Racers were in the wrong place at the wrong time as they were just run over. After the last month the basketball team has had they needed a win like this. It is hard to believe that this team was 4-0 and hoisting the WNIT trophy during their last win. Since then the have lost three straight games, and had a huge scare with the Drey Mingo incident.
The Boilers did not pull away from the Racers right away. Eight minutes into the game they only had a 12-10 lead. Sitting in the stands it felt as if it should have been more. The Racers went almost four minutes to start the game without a field goal. They only had four total field goals in the first half . The Boilers went on an 18-4 run after the eight minute time out to take a 30-14 lead into the break. Coming out of the break the Racers went over six minutes without a field goal. They really were having a bad day yesterday. The racers could not buy a basket in the second half either only making two field goals on their way to eleven second half points. If you can hold a Division 1 team to twenty five points in a game you have done a good job. Some of that comes down to Murray State missing shots, and part of it was the tenacious defense that the Boilers had gong on. On the postgame show the announcers talked about the fact that Murray State was only 1-9 in the paint for the game. It is rough to only make one shot in the paint, but it is something else to only take nine from in close. Murray State only had six made shots all game, but half of them were three pointers. They did knock in ten free throws to give them some points. Four of those free throws at the end were absolute gifts by the refs. The 25 points allowed was not a Purdue record, but the six field goals allowed were. Purdue also held Murray State to 12.2% shooting for the game which is a team record as well. Did I mention that Murray State was having a rough day shooting the basketball? Purdue played some inspired defense as well.
That defense started with Courtney Moses defending the Murray State point guard all 94 feet. She started things off by taking them out of their offense. The rest of the Boilers did a great job of stepping into the passing lanes to create some easy baskets after a turnover. On the day the Boilers forced 27 turnovers, and picked up a season high 18 steals.
Rayburn, Wilson, Howard, and Guyton all finished the game with over ten points. All ten players that are active played at least twelve minutes and added at least one field goal. It seems as if everyone played, and did something to contribute to the win yesterday. Sam Woods hit the lone Boiler three on the night. Sam O had five points, four rebounds, four assists, three blocks, and three steals. Moses had eight points and four steals. Chelsea Jones had a two baskets and block while she was in the game.
The Boilers got back on the winning track finally. They have a test next Saturday when they open the Boilermaker Blockbuster in Indy by playing Auburn. They have a quick turnaround after that for a Monday game in Mackey. All of this after finals week really will test the Boilers. For now though enjoy the dominating win from yesterday.
By next weekend hopefully we will be dug out of the snow that has fallen in the last day. Along with a lot of the Midwest Northwest Indiana really was hit with snow. After a night of power outages and impassable roads today starts the digging out process. After the game I drove straight home, but the drive took over an hour longer than it normally does. I actually made it before the snow really started coming down. Some days I wished that I lived a little closer to Purdue.
Play of the game – Many plays could have been the play of the game, but once again it has to go to the combination of Howard and Wilson. Antoinette Howard picked up a loose ball and took off down the court. She made a nice pass to Ashley Howard who finished the play to give the Boilers two easy points. Seeing these two girls run the floor like that is really a treat.
Gameball – This has to go to Antoinette Howard. Three players scored 11 points, but Howard scored them early when the game was in doubt. She is really growing on me game after game. When the team is struggling a little she seems to take it on her back on score. She really can take the game over if she wants to. Her play has been the highlight of the last few games.