WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - The Purdue women's basketball team finished its non-conference slate Monday night at Mackey Arena, defeating visiting Maine 56-33 and improving to 9-2 on the season. The Boilermakers provided a stifling defensive effort, limiting the Black Bears to 31.3 percent from the field (15-48), including just 6.7 percent (1-15) from 3-point range.
The Boilermakers set the tone early, holding Maine without a field goal for the first 3:46 of the game, and just two buckets for the entire first quarter. The Black Bears hit their first and only 3-point bucket for their opening points of the game to make it 4-3, but would prove unable to find the bottom of the net from distance for the remaining 36 minutes of play.
Purdue opened things up in the second quarter, going on an 8-0 run behind the play of junior Bridget Perry to stretch the lead to 15, 23-8. Perry got back-to-back buckets and then took a defensive board coast-to-coast and fed senior point guard April Wilson for the finish. Neither side could find the bucket much in the final four minutes of the half and the Boilermakers took a 27-14 edge to the locker room.
The Boilermakers opened the second half with a quick 7-0 run to stretch the lead to 20 and dispel any comeback hopes for the Black Bears. Maine got a couple buckets from senior forward Bella Swan to slow the Boilermakers, but freshman Nora Kiesler came off the bench to drop in a pair of quick layups and keep the Purdue lead at 20 points.
The Black Bears finally got things going in the fourth quarter, scoring 13 of their 33 points in the final frame, but Purdue increased its offensive efficiency as well, cashing in 7-of-10 down the stretch to seal the win. Senior Torrie Thornton had a couple of buckets inside, while freshman Dominique McBryde scored all six of her points for the game in the last 10 minutes to finish strong.
Perry and Wilson were the only two Boilermakers in double-figures, dropping in 10 points each, while Perry added eight rebounds, tied a career-high with five assists and grabbed three steals, and Wilson had five assists and four rebounds. Thornton chipped in six points, six rebounds and three assists, while Kiesler and McBryde added six points each as well.
Junior Sigi Koizar led Maine in scoring, but was held way below her season average with only nine points on the evening. Swan finished with eight points and 10 rebounds, while senior classmate Mikaela Gustafsson scored eight points as well to round out the Black Bears' top contributors. Maine tied a Purdue opponent single-game record, committing only eight fouls in the contest, but also posted the second-worst single-game 3-point shooting percentage behind last season's 1-for-16 showing by Wright State, which coincidentally came exactly one year ago.
The Boilermakers open the Big Ten Conference season on New Year's Eve, heading to Ann Arbor, Michigan to face the Wolverines.