Senior guard April Wilson and junior guard Bridget Perry led a balanced attack with 10 points each and Purdue University held the University of Maine to a season-low 33 points en route to a convincing 56-33 women’s basketball triumph at West Lafayette, Indiana, on Monday night.
The Boilermakers, coached by former Black Bear head coach Sharon Versyp, limited Maine to 31.3 percent shooting from the floor and a dreadful 1-for-15 showing from beyond the three-point arc (6.7 percent).
The defense-minded Boilermakers came into the game holding opponents to 53.5 points per game and 36 percent shooting from the floor.
Purdue used a 17-5 spurt spanning the first and second quarters to transform an 8-5 lead into a 25-10 advantage late in the first half.
The Boilermakers (9-2) took a 27-14 lead into the intermission and scored the first seven points of the second half to expand the lead to 20. They were never threatened.
Maine (9-5) was held scoreless for the first 4:23 of the second half and wound up committing eight turnovers in the third period. The Bears had their three-game winning streak snapped.
The teams will play in Bangor next season.
“We didn’t execute at all. We got flustered and we weren’t aggressive,” Maine coach Richard Barron told Don Shield of the Black Bear Sports Network. “When it came to physical toughness and defense, we did a decent job. We held them under 60.
“But we made careless turnovers and we didn’t have a point guard tonight. We didn’t have anyone leading the group and it trickled down from there,” Barron added.
Junior guard Sigi Koizar led Maine with nine points, three rebounds and two assists but the Black Bears’ leading scorer, averaging 17.6 points per game entering the game, scored seven of those points in the fourth quarter.
Senior forward Bella Swan finished with eight points and a game-high 10 rebounds.
“Bella did some things well. She was a bright spot,” said Barron. “She played hard. She went to the boards hard.”
Mikaela Gustafsson had eight points. Nobody else had more than three.
Perry had eight rebounds, five assists and three steals to go with her 10 points for the Big Ten’s Boilermakers, who had eight players register at least four points.
Wilson also contributed four rebounds and five assists to accompany her 10 points.
Torrie Thornton, Nora Kiesler and Dominique McBryde had six points apiece for Purdue. Thornton also had six rebounds and three assists.
Purdue outrebounded Maine 36-27 and forced 17 Black Bear turnovers. Purdue had 13 turnovers.