Harris Flawless, Boilers Top Mastadons 78-44
The Boilermaker junior broke an 17-year old school record Sunday
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Ae’Rianna Harris broke a 17-year old school record Sunday, hitting a perfect 10-for-10 from the field on her way to 23 points and nine rebounds to lead the Purdue women’s basketball team to a 78-44 win over visiting Purdue Fort Wayne at Mackey Arena. The Boilermaker junior did her damage in 27 minutes of action, adding two steals and a blocked shot as Purdue improved to 4-0 for the 15th time in program history.
Harris started early and never stopped Sunday, spreading her scoring out over the four quarters and leading the Boilermakers wire-to-wire for the second time this season. She tied Purdue’s single-game field goal percentage record with 6:35 left in the fourth quarter, draining a baseline jumper to match Camille Cooper’s total at Iowa in 2001. She exceeded the mark with 3:29 to play, corralling a missed jumper and sticking home the rebound with a foul, becoming the 11th player in Big Ten Conference history to go at least 10-for-10 in a game.
Freshman Cassidy Hardin had a breakout game for the Boilermakers, canning four triples on her way to 14 points and adding four rebounds and two assists, and junior Dominique Oden posted her sixth straight game in double figures with 12 points on four-of-six shooting. Sophomore Karissa McLaughlin chipped in five assists and five rebounds in limited minutes due to foul problems, taking only four shots in the game, and freshman Kayana Traylor picked up some of the scoring slack with nine points and six assists in 21 minutes. Junior Fatou Diagne came through with career highs of five points and six rebounds and freshman Ajah Stallings dished out a season-best three assists in quality minutes off the bench.
The Boilermakers raced out to a 13-4 lead after the opening quarter, overcoming poor shooting with superior defense as they held the Mastadons to 2-of-14 and forced four turnovers. Purdue heated up in the second and third quarters, scoring a combined 50 points on 18-of-24 shooting (.750), and cruising out to a 32 point lead 63-31 before the final frame.
Purdue outscored Purdue Fort Wayne 30-14 in the paint, 19-0 on second chance points and the Boilermaker bench surpassed the 30-point mark for the second time this season with 33 from the Purdue reserves.
The Mastadons fell to 2-3 with the loss as junior Hannah Albrecht was their only player in double figures with 12. Purdue Fort Wayne was held to 27.1 percent shooting (16-59), including 26.1 percent from distance (6-23).
The Boilermakers head out of town next week, traveling to St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands for the 2018 Paradise Jam, hosted at the University of the Virgin Islands. Purdue will face St. John’s, Ole Miss and No. 2 UConn in the three-day tournament, with play starting Thursday at 5:30 p.m. ET. All three games will air live on FloHoops.com, and more information regarding the tournament can be found at ParadiseJam.com. (https://www.paradisejam.com/)