WEST LAFAYETTE -- Purdue versus Indiana. It doesn’t matter what sport, both of these school want to beat the other so badly.
Seniors KK Houser and Courtney Moses knew this may be the last time they would play Indiana.
“We had a nice long chat and just talked about how many games we had left and how we really need to play well” said Moses.
Purdue senior guards KK Houser and Courtney Moses used the atmosphere of the rivalry to play some of their best basketball of the season and lead the Boilermakers to an impressive 86-53 victory.
This win was much needed for the Purdue. Having looked non-competitive just two days prior in a game against Michigan, they needed a good performance against IU to feel good again. They got their confidence back and then some.
“46 hours later we looked like the basketball team that played against Penn State” said coach Sharon Versyp.
Houser set the tempo for how she wanted her team to play tonight. She had 22 points on 8-of-20 shooting and also grabbed four boards. Her eight assists helped leading scorer Courtney Moses find open looks from the three point line, which gave her the confidence to shoot 10 of 14 and lead the team with 24 points.
“That was my main focus, making sure we came out and were ready to play,” Houser said.
The turning point in Friday’s game was with about five minutes left in the first half, when Coach Versyp called a timeout. For a 10-minute stretch, Purdue when on a 50-12 run which basically sealed the win. In the post-game press conference Coach Versyp got asked what did she say that got them going.
“I didn’t have to say anything,” she said. “I just gave them a look and KK said where going to be fine”.
The big surprise from tonight’s game was the play from Whitney Bays. She recorded her first career double-double with 16 points and 14 boards. She used the play of her two guards to help her get open looks at the rim.
“Our guards shoot the ball well and I was able to get some open looks on the inside and kick out to shooters. “Bays said. “It was a great team win for us”.
This Purdue team has always had talent and all year has struggled to play at its fullest potential on a consistent basis. This game shows them a perfect recipe for how to win games. Houser has to attack the basket and knock down some shoots. Moses has to hit her threes and play great defense and have either Whitney Bays, Camille Redmon or Liza Clemons rebound and knock down those easy looks inside that they get. Then just get some help from the bench and this team could be hard for a lot of teams to handle.
There is no rest for Purdue, which has to play this Sunday at Nebraska. That game will be its third game in five days. Coach Versyp knows her players need rest.
“They are getting a ton of rest tomorrow, but they need to be focused more mentally than physically and got to be ready to go,” Versyp said.
Perhaps the Boilermakers can use this game as a springboard to launch themselves back into the top half of the Big Ten.