WEST LAFAYETTE – Amanda Cahill scored 16 points, Tyra Buss added 13, and Indiana held Purdue to 29 percent shooting as the Hoosiers defeated Purdue 52-44 in women’s basketball Monday, sweeping the season series for the first time since 1985.
In a hard-fought, defensive struggle, the Hoosiers were able to secure the Barn Burner trophy for the second straight year by shooting 70 percent in the fourth quarter, breaking open a tight game.
“What a slugfest. I don’t think it was a pretty game, but we made enough plays down the stretch to get a little bit of breathing room,” Indiana head coach Teri Moren said. “I can’t tell you how excited I am for (seniors) Tyra Buss and Amanda Cahill who have never won here at Purdue.”
Indiana (14-12, 7-6 Big Ten) last won at Mackey Arena in January 2008.
The game began with stellar defense by the Boilermakers. Indiana started just 2 or 17 from the floor and scored only four first-quarter points. In the final minute of the first quarter, Karissa McLaughlin drained a three, and then hit a pull-up in the lane to give the Boilermakers an early 13-4 lead.
In Purdue’s trip to Bloomington in January, the Indiana guards were extremely physical with McLaughlin, holding her scoreless for the only time this season. On Monday, she led the Boilermakers with 14 points.
“It was a turnaround from the first time that I played them,” McLaughlin said. “I’m just trying to be confident in my shot, trying to handle the pressure, and I think I handled it a lot better than the first time.”
The second quarter was the polar opposite of the first. Purdue suddenly went cold, missing its first seven shots and going scoreless for over five minutes. When Cahill hit a runner in the lane, the Hoosiers had taken a 14-13 lead.
“We had them where we wanted them, especially in the first quarter, but they came back on us and then we had a drought,” Purdue coach Sharon Versyp said. “Our defense was very good, had them off balance, but the ball just didn’t go in the hoop; that was the bottom line.”
Again McLaughlin owned the last minute of the quarter. Her second 3-pointer of the half, this one to beat an expiring shot clock, sent the Boilermakers into the locker room tied at 22.
In the third, the Hoosiers made a point to stay with McLaughlin. Buss, better known for her scoring, stayed glued to the Homestead grad, and the basket for the other Boilermakers was unforgiving, as Purdue went just 3 for 16 in the quarter.
That inefficiency, coupled with the emergence of Buss offensively, allowed the Hoosiers to continue to widen the lead. Buss, who averages over 20 points per game, was held to just one point at the half, but scored 12 in the final two quarters.
Indiana opened a 45-35 lead with three minutes to play when McLaughlin connected on another 3, but Buss answered with a long range bomb of her own to thwart a Boilermaker comeback.
Late in the game, McLaughlin connected on her fourth triple of the night and 55th of the season, passing Courtney Moses for second all-time for Purdue freshmen, but it wasn’t enough as Indiana snapped a seven game losing streak at Mackey Arena.
The Boilermakers (16-10, 7-5) lost their second game in a row despite a Herculean 18-rebound performance by Ae’Rianna Harris.
They next face two ranked opponents on the road, Maryland and Ohio State.