WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (Purdue Sports) — The Purdue women’s basketball team suffered a tough loss Sunday at Mackey Arena, falling to visiting Southern Illinois, 64-61. The Salukis raced out to a 20-10 start in the first period and never looked back, dropping the Boilermakers to 1-3 on the season.
Purdue senior Ashley Morrissette did everything she could to lead her Boilermakers, matching a career-high with 28 points on 10-of-19 shooting. She added a season-best seven rebounds, four assists and matched a career-high with four steals. After trailing by as many as 14 points, Morrissette and senior teammate Bridget Perry helped pull the Boilermakers within one point, three times in the final five minutes. However the Boilermakers were never able to take the lead, turning the ball over twice down the stretch and missing a pair of game-tying 3-point attempts in the last 10 seconds.
SIU’s early lead was built on points inside and buckets off turnovers, outscoring Purdue in the paint in the first quarter, 14-8, and turning two Boilermaker mistakes into five early points. Purdue connected on just 5-of-17 in the first quarter, and 6-of-21 in the second, heading to the locker rooms trailing by 12, 38-26.
Things got moving in the second half as Purdue was able to force SIU into mistakes and take advantage, outscoring the Salukis 14-0 off turnovers in the third quarter and close the gap to five. The gap proved too large to overcome in the fourth and final quarter as SIU had an answer for every Boilermaker run.
Perry finished with 10 points, six rebounds, two assists, three blocks and a pair of steals in support of Morrissette, while junior Andreona Keys added eight points and four boards, most of which came in the second half.
Senior Carlie Corrigan paced SIU with 18 points, including four 3-pointers, while junior Kylie Giebelhausen added 14 points. Freshman Lauren Hartman posted 16 rebounds for the Salukis, senior Kim Nebo chipped in 11 points and seven boards and senior Rishonda Napier had eight points and eight assists as SIU improved to 2-1.
The Boilermakers return to action Thursday, facing Wichita State in the opening round of the 2016 Cancun Challenge in Mexico. The game will be webcast live via YouTube, and will be available via radio on Stretch Internet as well.