Jan. 24, 2016
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By JAMES ALLAN
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Purdue started fast and finished strong, handing the University of Iowa women’s basketball team a 90-73 defeat Sunday afternoon inside Mackey Arena.
The Boilermakers improve to 15-4 overall and 6-2 in Big Ten Conference action; Iowa falls to 13-7, 3-5.
Purdue jumped on the Hawkeyes early, using a 10-0 run to take a 14-4 advantage. The Boilermakers led 28-15 following the first quarter.
“We turned the ball over six times and it resulted in high-percentage shots for them,” said UI head coach Lisa Bluder. “We gave up too many offensive rebounds in the game (12), especially in the first quarter.”
Iowa’s 3-point attempts began to fall as 3s from Christina Buttenham, Tania Davis, and Alexa Kastanek closed the gap to 31-26 with 7:32 left in the half. Iowa kept chipping away, fighting back to tie the game at 40 on a Chase Coley jumper and Buttenham free throw.
Purdue’s Bridget Perry gave her team the momentum heading into the locker room by drilling a 3-pointer with 20 seconds to play.
“I am proud of the way we fought back in the second quarter,” said Bluder. “We took care of the ball well (in the second quarter) and shot well in the first half. We were 5-for-5 from 3-point range in the first half and 1-for-8 in the second half. That was a big story of this game.”
Iowa tied the game at 43 coming out of the locker room before Purdue’s April Wilson responded with back-to-back-layups, giving the Boilermakers a 47-43 lead. Wilson connected on a 3-pointer at the 6:23 mark, extending the lead to 56-49.
Back-to-back three-point plays from junior Ally Disterhoft and Coley trimmed the lead to 56-55 with 4:43 left in the quarter, and Iowa trailed 65-63 with 1:16 remaining. Purdue scored the final four points, taking a 69-63 lead into the fourth quarter.
From there, the Boilermakers put the game away, outscoring Iowa, 21-10, over the final 10 minutes. Iowa made just three of its final 13 attempts, and Purdue made 11-of-14 free throws.
Both teams shot well from the floor, but it was Purdue converting field goals into easy points. The Boilermakers shot 58.6 percent for the game with 48 points coming in the paint. Purdue complemented its interior play with a 7-of-12 performance from 3-point range.
Purdue out-rebounded Iowa, 34-20, and forced the Hawkeyes into 19 turnovers. The mistakes were costly, as they led to 24 Boilermaker points.
Iowa finished with a 52 percent field goal percentage and made 6-of-13 3-point attempts. Disterhoft led the Hawkeyes with 21 points, making 6-of-11 field goals and 9-of-12 free throws. Davis and Buttenham scored 14 points apiece. Buttenham’s 14 were a career-high, while Davis had a career-best seven assists.
“Christina played a nice game, she was one of the bright spots,” said Bluder. “It was nice to see the fight she came in with. Ally worked her tail off, getting to the free throw line, and Tania did a nice job.”
Iowa altered the starting lineup with freshman Megan Gustafson earning her first career start. She started alongside Coley in the post.
“It was Megan’s first start in a good environment,” said Bluder. “It was something we needed to try. Both players responded well.”
Four Purdue players reached double figures with Wilson leading the way with 24 points, making 10-of-16 field goals and three 3-pointers.
Iowa returns to action Thursday, hosting Michigan at 7 p.m. (CT) on Mediacom Court. The Wolverines downed the Hawkeyes, 82-75, in Ann Arbor on Jan. 7.
“A lot of our problems are between our ears right now,” said Bluder. “We have to get that figured out before any magic play is going to work. We’re back at home (Thursday), and the last two (games) haven’t been too good. Hopefully we’ll take a little pride into this game and we want to defend our home court.”