Nov. 28, 2013
PUERTO VALLARTA, Mexico - The No. 16/22 Purdue women's basketball team rebounded from its first loss of the season to overcome Texas Christian University (TCU), 75-68, in their finale of the 2013 Hardwood Tournament of Hope at the Puerto Vallarta International Convention Center on Thursday. Senior Courtney Moses scored 22 points, including 18 in the second half, as the Boilermakers improved to 5-1 with the win.
TCU led the entire first half, sparked by a 7-0 run out of the gates, but despite some cold shooting early the Boilermakers kept pace. After making just two of its first 10 shots, the Boilermakers finished the half 11-of-22, and knifed the lead to just one, 34-33, as they went to the locker rooms. The Horned Frogs grabbed 11 offensive rebounds, while turning it over just four times, but Purdue only let them convert 10 second-chance points, while scoring eight of its own on five offensive boards. Freshman Ashley Morrissette continued her torrid scoring pace early, hitting her first two shots and a pair of free throws to have seven at the break, while junior Liza Clemons came off the bench to post nine points and four rebounds in the half.
The second half went back and forth early as three threes from Moses and freshman Bridget Perry gave Purdue a 43-38 lead, but TCU responded with six straight points from junior Natalie Ventress to take a one-point edge, 44-43. Neither team could pull away over the next six minutes as the score changed hands five times and was tied four others. The turning point came near the eight minute mark as TCU pulled down an apparent defensive rebound, but senior KK Houser stripped Horned Frog senior Latricia Lovings and tipped the ball to sophomore teammate April Wilson for the layup and a foul. While TCU continued to go back-and-forth for a few more possessions, the momentum had clearly swung the Boilermakers' direction and a three from Wilson at 6:06 gave Purdue the lead for good.
Moses and Houser put the exclamation point on the game with 2:20 left in the game as Houser penetrated and threaded a pass to the corner and Moses buried the three with a defender bearing down on her for a 69-61 lead, Purdue's biggest of the game. TCU kept fighting and fouling down the stretch, but Moses and Wilson were clutch at the line, hitting six straight to finish.
"We made some good adjustments at halftime and went out and executed," said Purdue head coach Sharon Versyp. "We only gave up five offensive rebounds in the second half and ended up outrebounding them for the game. We shot the ball very well tonight and that was ultimately the difference in the game."
Moses finished five-of-nine from the field, including four-of-six from three, and was eight-of-eight from the free throw line. Wilson scored a career-high 17 points in addition to five assists, while Morrissette and Clemons joined them in double-figures with 11 apiece. Clemons also grabbed a team-high nine rebounds, while Houser had a tremendous floor game with four assists, six rebounds and three steals.
TCU came into the game averaging nearly 50 rebounds per game and outrebounding opponents by more than 10 per game, but Purdue claimed the final edge on the glass, 38-34. Ventress led the Horned Frogs with 14 points and five rebounds, while Donielle Breaux and Chelsea Prince had 11 and 10 points, respectively, and Lovings finished with nine points and nine rebounds.
The Boilermakers remain on the road next week, heading to second-ranked Duke for the ACC/Big Ten Challenge on Thursday in Durham, N.C.