Box Score / Game Notes / Photo Gallery
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Seniors Ashley Morrissette and Bridget Perry combined for 41 points to lead the Purdue women's basketball team to a 66-54 victory over visiting Michigan State on Wednesday at Mackey Arena. Morrissette poured in a game-high 24 points, while Perry dropped in 17 as the Boilermakers improved to 10-6 overall and evened their conference record at 1-1.
The senior duo came up with clutch bucket after clutch bucket Wednesday, putting the team on their respective backs down the stretch and setting an intense pace for their teammates to follow. Morrissette drained three triples, surpassing Kelly Komara and MaChelle Joseph on the Boilermakers' career 3-point list and moving to 10th all-time at Purdue, and chipped in five boards, four assists and three steals as well. Perry and Morrissette also combined to drain 12-of-13 at the free throw line, leading the team to an 81-percent clip at the charity stripe (17-21).
The Boilermakers were all over the Spartans early, forcing three turnovers in the first three minutes and racing out to a 9-0 edge. All five starters contributed to the run as four different Boilermakers scored the first four buckets and sophomore Dominique McBryde had a block, a steal and an assist in the early going. The Spartans finally got things going with a bucket at the 6:50-mark, but the Old Gold & Black would maintain a 19-9 edge at the end of the first.
Michigan State fought back in the second behind standout play from senior preseason All-Big Ten pick Tori Jankoska. The Spartan leader scored nine points in the second, including a pair of 3's, and pulled MSU back within three at the halftime break 29-26.
The third quarter went back-and-forth, featuring a tie and four lead changes as Michigan State took its first lead of the game. The Spartans dominated the boards and pulled ahead with a 5-0 run to start the period, but the Boilermaker righted the ship in the last five minutes and took a 47-43 advantage into the final 10 minutes.
The Boilermakers turned up the pressure in the final frame, holding MSU to 26.3 percent from the floor (5-19) and forcing five Spartan turnovers down the stretch. Morrissette scored 10 in the fourth quarter, hitting a huge 3-pointer, finishing a slick and-one layup and hitting 5-of-5 at the free throw line in the last four minutes. Nine of the Boilermakers' 11 second-chance points came in the final period as they converted all four of their offensive boards in the quarter.
McBryde joined Morrissette and Perry in double figures, finishing with 10 points and a team-high six rebounds. Junior Andreona Keys played an outstanding game, tallying nine points, three rebounds, five assists and three steals while guarding Jankoska the majority of the game. Purdue committed just 11 turnovers for the game and tied a season high with 10 steals as they forced Michigan State into 20 turnovers.
Jankoska had 16 points, six rebounds and two assists to lead the Spartans, but scored just four points in the second half and had six turnovers. Taya Reimer added six points and a game-high nine boards for Michigan State, which falls to 11-4 overall and 1-1 in conference play.
Purdue remains home for its next conference outing, hosting Penn State at 2 p.m. ET Saturday in Mackey Arena. The Lady Lions are 11-4 on the year with a 1-2 mark in conference action. The Boilermakers will host a National Girls and Women in Sport pregame clinic, and participants are eligible for a $2 ticket to the game and a voucher for Purdue's home game vs. Nebraska on Jan. 26, where they will be recognized.
-- Purdue Women's Bball (@PurdueWBB) January 5, 2017