WEST LAFAYETTE -- Unlike their men counterparts, that had to pull out a close win in their first exhibition game, the Purdue women’s basketball team showed the 7,670 fans at Mackey Arena they were the better team.
It started from the opening whistle, playing tenacious defense that turned into easy layups on the other end. That gave them a dominating 102-33 win over Clarke University.
It has always been a staple at Purdue to play tough, hardnosed defense. Though, this season, the Boilermakers are not strictly playing their traditional man-to-man defense; they are also playing a little 2-3 zone, giving themselves an extra added level to their defensive options. The Boilermakers forced 36 turnovers, 29 of those coming off steals. April Wilson and Ashley Morrissette combined for 12 of their 29 steals.
Wilson was all over the court today. Though she only provided six points, her defensive intensity will keep her on the court as her scoring continues to improve. Morrissette playing in her first collegiate game as a freshman looked like she had played a few years with the way she was stealing the ball and making plays.
The biggest surprise from the game was the tremendous shooting day that true freshman Bridget Perry had for the Boilermakers. Perry shot 7-for-10 from the field and with a total of 19 points in her debut. You would think a freshman would have a little butterflies in the stomach for their first ever game, but apparently not for her.
“I liked that when I came out I wasn’t nervous, I played hard with my teammates and I had a lot of fun playing today” said Perry.
The Boilermakers had 11 players factor in the scoring, which is exactly what you want to see out of a team in an exhibition game. The starters came out and dominated the game and got the lead and the bench gets valuable playing time that will become less and less when you get later on in the season. Courtney Moses was the leading scorer with 29 points and Liza Clemons, Bridget Perry, and Whitney Bays all made it to double digits in the game.
It was a great first game for the reigning Big Ten tournament champions. They played great on both ends of the floor and totally dominated a team that is nowhere near the level of competition that they will be facing down the road.
Obviously, nobody can expect for the Boilers to score 100 points a game, but if Moses continues to be a great player and the freshmen step up and contribute and they play the defense they always play, then there is no reason why this team could not do great things again this year.
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