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RIVIERA MAYA, Mexico - The Purdue women's basketball team suffered a 78-69 loss at the hands of 11th-ranked Stanford in the Mayan division championship game of the 2016 Triple Crown Sports Cancun Challenge, hosted at the Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya on Saturday. The game went back-and-forth, featuring seven ties and 11 lead changes, but a late run by the Cardinal and cold Purdue shooting down the stretch allowed them to pull away for the win.
The two sides played even for the first 10 minutes, finishing the first tied, 17-17. After a stretch of three minutes without a point for either side, freshman Dominique Oden drained a long three, which was quickly answered by Stanford senior Karlie Samuelson. The Boilermakers got things going in the second quarter, led by senior Ashley Morrissette's 11 points in the frame. The highlight came with about three minutes left in the half as she picked the Stanford guard's pocket and looped in a no-look layup with contact for a three-point play, which gave Purdue a 34-29 lead. A Morrissette layup with six seconds left sent the Boilermakers to the locker room leading 42-39.
Purdue held on to the lead for the first seven minutes of the second half, pushing the gap to six, 49-43, on a Morrissette triple. However, turnovers hurt the Boilermakers in the second half as the Cardinal converted 10 Purdue mistakes into 17 points and the Old Gold & Black went cold from the field, making only three of their last 15 shots from the field. Stanford pushed the lead to nine, 68-59, with 5:41 to play, but the Boilermakers pushed back, cutting it down to three, 71-68, with a series of free throws and a Bridget Perry 3-pointer. A missed layup and back-to-back turnovers allowed the Cardinal to right the ship and they knocked down free throws down the stretch to hold on.
The Purdue seniors did all they could to carry their team Saturday as Morrissette poured in a game-high 23 points, while Perry hit four 3's on her way to 16 points. Morrissette added eight rebounds and a pair of assists, while Perry grabbed seven boards of her own, two assists and two steals. Perry did her bulk of the work in the opening half, draining three 3's and heading to the locker room with 12 points, while Morrissette cashed in at the free throw line all game, hitting 10-of-11 at the stripe. Both were named to the all-tournament team.
Stanford was led by junior Brittany McPhee with 22 points, while Samuelson had 20 on 6-of-8 shooting from 3. Senior Erica McCall was named the tournament most valuable player, finishing with 16 points, 12 rebounds and three blocks Saturday.
The Boilermakers remain on the road this week, heading to Pittsburgh on Wednesday for the ACC/Big Ten Challenge.