Monday, December 04, 2017 11:10 pm
Ball State stays perfect, defeats Purdue
BEN VESSA | For The Journal Gazette
WEST LAFAYETTE – Jimmy Carter was president the last time Ball State defeated Purdue in a women’s basketball game – until last night.
Carman Grande and Moriah Monaco combined for 35 points, and the Cardinals defense held Purdue to just 33 percent shooting from the field, as Ball State improved to 7-0 on the season with a 66-60 victory at Mackey Arena on Monday.
“Clearly this is a big win for us, but it’s only because of the history here at Purdue,” Ball State head coach Brady Sallee said, whose team won for the first time against Purdue since Dec. 13, 1979. “This should be a big one that opens a committee’s eyes. When you’re a program that goes to Vandy and Purdue and wins, that should have people’s attention.”
Purdue started slowly, missing its first seven shots and trailing 10-3, but back-to-back three-pointers by Tiara Murphy and Lamina Cooper ignited the offense, and the Boilermakers led 16-14 after the first quarter.
Trailing 20-16, Purdue’s Karissa McLaughlin began to assert herself. McLaughlin, a Homestead grad and 2017 Indiana Miss Basketball, drove to the paint on consecutive possessions, first finding Tamara Farquhar for a short jumper and then drawing a shooting foul, but Ball State would begin to pull away after that.
“Ball State really brought out a lot of energy on both ends, defensively and offensively, but we really didn’t get things going on the offensive end,” McLaughlin said.
Grande, who ranks second in the nation with nine assists per game, carved the middle of the Boilermakers’ defense with the dribble, scoring six straight points, then dishing to Monaco for a three-pointer, as the Cardinals took a 31-25 lead into the locker room.
“She’s so crafty,” Sallee said about his junior point guard. “I wouldn’t trade her for anybody we’ve played, or are going to play, or who’s out there; she’s that good.”
McLaughlin opened the third quarter with a deep three, but the Boilermakers could manage only four more points, as Ball State opened a commanding 44-32 lead heading into the final quarter. The duo of Ae’Rianna Harris and Andreona Keys, who each came into the game averaging over 13 points per game, were held to just 12 points combined after three quarters.
Again McLaughlin was the catalyst for a Boilermaker comeback. She opened the fourth quarter with two crafty assists of her own as the Ball State lead was cut to 46-40, but with under three minutes to play, Grande kissed a 40-foot shot off the glass as the shot clock expired to put Ball State up seven. McLaughlin answered with a powerful drive to the basket in traffic. Her converted three-point play made it 63-59, but that was as close as the Boilermakers would get.
“The last four minutes of the fourth quarter, we played with such a sense of urgency,” McLaughlin said. “If we can really play with a sense of urgency all forty minutes, we’re going to be good. That’s the next piece that we really need to work on.”
Purdue (5-4) was led by Lamina Cooper’s 16 points. McLaughlin finished with seven points, three rebounds, and three assists.
The Boilermakers will next play Valparaiso at home on Friday.