Purdue women top USC Upstate in home opener

Photo Courtesy: Purdue Sports
Photo Courtesy: Purdue Sports

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (Purdue Sports) — The Purdue women’s basketball team got things going the right direction Thursday night, defending its home court and earning the Boilermakers’ first win of the season with a 71-41 performance against visiting USC Upstate at Mackey Arena. Junior Andreona Keys and sophomore Dominique McBryde led the way, each posting a double-double, as Purdue improved to 1-2 on the season.

The Boilermakers have been incredibly successful in home openers at Mackey Arena and Thursday was no exception, improving to 40-2 all-time in the first game of the year on their home floor. Purdue dominated the glass and the paint, outrebounding the Spartans, 55-25, and outscoring them around the bucket, 44-24. The Boilermakers also did an incredible job sharing the ball, assisting on 21-of-28 field goals for the evening.

Things went back-and-forth early as USC Upstate battled the Boilermakers to an 8-8 tie after four minutes of play, but the Purdue freshmen sparked a 12-0 run as the Old Gold & Black pulled out to a 20-10 lead after the quarter and never looked back. Dominique Oden and rookie classmate Lamina Cooper strung together eight straight points in the run, and Oden assisted on the other two buckets as they ran away.

Purdue’s defense was incredibly stingy all night, giving up only eight points in the second quarter and just 10 points in the third. They held USC Upstate to 28.8 percent (17-59) from the field and 0-for-9 from 3-point range.

McBryde’s first career double-double came with 14 points and a career-high 11 rebounds, in addition to a pair of assists and a steal, while Keys matched her scoring and rebounding with 11 of each, and led the Boilermakers in assists for the third straight game with five Thursday. Senior Ashley Morrissette struggled from the field but played an outstanding floor game, finishing with nine points, five rebounds, four assists, three steals and a career-high three blocks. Cooper joined McBryde and Keys in double figures, piling up 10 points, four rebounds and two assists in 14 minutes.

USC Upstate suffered its first loss of the season, dropping to 2-1, and had just one player score in double figures as senior Raven Jefferson totaled 12. The Spartans had just two assists against 12 turnovers for the game, and were unable to score any second-chance points on their 10 offensive rebounds.

The Boilermakers have a quick turnaround, hosting Southern Illinois on Sunday at 2 p.m. in Mackey Arena. Members of the Boilermaker Kids Club attend free Sunday, while all other fans can take advantage of the Celebrate Sunday package with four tickets for $20.