WEST LAFAYETTE -- Purdue played with a heavy heart on Thursday night. In its last game, KK Houser tore her ACL and her season and Purdue career is now over. In honor of her, fellow senior Courtney Moses is going to wear Houser’s number 22 the rest of the year.
“I just wanted one little way to honor her and keep her on the court with us,” said Moses.
The Boilermakers road that emotion and handled the Buckeyes 74-58 in front of the 7500 fans at Mackey Arena.
Without Houser, Purdue fans wondered how their team was going to pick up her slack. Well, the Boilermakers showed tonight that they can by having five players in double figures and by making the fundamental plays.
“That was huge for us, it shows we are a team and that’s Purdue basketball,” Moses said.
Another key to Thursday’s win were the transition points the Boilermakers were able to get. Purdue finished the game with 13 points on the fast break and held Ohio State to zero. April Wilson knew the transition game was a key to success against the Buckeyes.
“Transition was huge, we knew that we would beat them down the court and that’s what we tried to do,” Wilson said.
Another takeaway from the game was Purdue’s defense. The staple of that defense for years has always been playing hard-nosed man to man defense. The Boilermakers played almost the entire game in a 2-3 zone which really slowed down the Buckeyes post game. Also, Ohio State couldn’t knock down any three’s to even give Purdue a thought of going back to man to man.
Coach Versyp knew that to be successful they had to play good defense.
“I thought our 2-3 was successful, and we just executed very well on the defensive end,” said Versyp.
With this win, Purdue is now 5-5 in the Big Ten. With arguably their best player going down, it is not going to be easy for the Boilers the rest of the season. Yet, there’s still tons of talent on this team. If the Boilermakers can get the post game working with Redmon, Clemons, and Bays, this team could still be a tough team to beat.
It’s just one game, but this one was special to Purdue, proving to everybody that it can still compete at a high level and win without Houser.