Purdue is finding its rythym again after dropping three tough games in the wake of the Drey Mingo illness. The three games would have been tough anyway, but they had a lot to deal with. After a nice win against Auburn Saturday that saw Drey’s return to the court the Boilers had a home game Monday night. The weather was not the greatest, but the fans that did make the trip to Mackey Arena were witness to a show. Courtney Moses who was the Big Ten Freshman of the week made her case to make it back to back weeks against the Salukis. She scored eighteen points on the night to go along with a career high six assists. Courtney seemed to spark the team with both her offense and her defense. She is playing very well right now for a true freshman. Heck she is playing well for a senior right now.
The Boilers started off slow which has been typical for them this season. They were down 8-3 early on. They were having trouble closing up the middle, and the points seemed to be easy to come by for Southern Illinois. They quickly fixed that problem going on a 24-2 run to end the half. They used their tough defense to set up easy points on the offensive end. They only allowed six field goals in the second half, and closed the game on a 22-5 run. The players really seem to be giving everything they have on the court which is fun to watch. If you are not going to the games I think that you should check them out.
One player that you should check out is Antoinette Howard. She is really starting to assert herself on the floor. She did not start Monday, but made her presence known early on. She comes into the game and provides the Boilers with a fearless scorer. The Flordia State transfer is good at going to the basket and getting the and one. Without Howard this season would be very different right now. Players like Sam Ostarello, Alex Guyton, Ashley Wilson, Dee Dee Williams, and of course Brittany Rayburn are also playing well right now. If this team can get things going before the Big Ten season starts they will be a tough game for anyone.
Monday night was the first time that Drey Mingo had played on the court at Mackey since the Boilers won the WNIT against DePaul. The crowd did not seem to notice her come onto the floor, but when they did she got an ovation. The second time she came onto the floor she was given a nice ovation as well. She only scored two points while on the floor, but it is just nice to see her playing again right now. She is still recovering from her illness. She has not regained her hearing completely yet, and still does not know if that will happen. Right now she has more important things than basketball in her life, but it has to be nice for her to get back on the court.
Play of the Game – I had a little trouble with this one. For once it was picking between a couple. I would have to say that the Courtney Moses steal of an inbounds pass, basket, and the foul she drew wins by an eyelash. The play wins because the Boilers were starting to heat it up a little when Moses snuck in and stole the ball as it was being inbounded. She made a nice layup after the steal and was fouled in the process. She made her free throw to complete the three point play. That play was a big one during the 24-2 run to end the first half. It also got the crowd going.
Gameball – A lot of players played well Monday, but Courtney Moses played the best. After getting sat down early she came in and took over the game. She started the game off with a three, and never really slowed down. She is really starting to take this team over.
Purdue travels to Gardner-Webb Thursday night. Last year a very cocky G-W team came into Mackey and stole a game from us. Hopefully the Boilers can return the favor. UConn may have broke the record for consecutive wins, but the three game streak for the Boilers is a start right now.