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November 4, 2012
During the last two seasons, Drey Mingo has had only four games in Mackey Arena that she hasn't had to worry about illness or injury.
The sixth-year senior was able to add No. 5 on Sunday afternoon, as Purdue played its only public exhibition game in preparation for the 2012-13 season, and blew out NAIA Lindsey Wilson College.
Mingo, a 6-foot-2 forward who missed last season with a torn ACL and endured bacterial meningitis the year before, scored 12 points on 5-of-8 shooting - she hit her only three-point attempt - with five rebounds, two blocks and a steal in 16 minutes.
"Drey just does so much for us on the court," point guard KK Houser said following Purdue's 89-33 victory. "She posts hard every time and is such a big target. It's nice to have such a consistent scorer down low and she can step outside and hit the three. It's amazing having Drey back."
But Purdue's exhibition wasn't only about Mingo; the game provided the Boilermakers with their last tuneup before the regular season begins on Saturday.
It started out ugly. Although the Boilermakers had played a closed-door scrimmage a week ago vs. Indiana State, they looked rusty for the first two-plus minutes against Lindsey Wilson, as the Blue Raiders, who were playing their third game in as many days, raced to an 8-0 lead.
"The first four minutes were way too fast," Coach Sharon Versyp said. "We had too much sugar or something. Everyone was dribbling the ball all over the place."
But the Boilermakers responded, and it was a freshman who helped settled them down. Immediately after entering, point guard April Wilson found Camille Redmon with a dish inside, giving Purdue its first lead at the 14-minute mark. Then, Wilson converted a steal into a layup for a four-point edge.
Minutes later, Mingo put back in an offensive rebound, then hit her triple from the top of the circle. On the third trip in the series, Courtney Moses took a pass from Houser, finished and hit the free throw for a 12-point lead. It was never closer, as the Boilers were up 43-18 at the break.
Wilson, who had 10 points off the bench, with three rebounds, four steals and an assist without a turnover, seemed to be a good influence on her teammates.
"One reason we recruited April is that she just really has that poise and she defers to others all the time," Versyp said. "That's what she did in high school; she always made people around her better and that's a very good thing for us."
Purdue started the second half with its three point guard - Houser, Courtney Moses and Wilson - on the floor together, with Sam Ostarello and Mingo (Chantel Poston started the game, in for Wilson). And the unit, which Versyp had wanted to feature, looked good.
In the first four minutes after the break, Wilson hit two three-pointers; Moses had a layup off a Houser feed, fed Houser for a triple, found Mingo inside for a layup and did the same with Ostarello, who converted into a three-point play. It ended with the Boilers up 39.
"I did that one time in practice the other day and we had some good results," she said. "I'm trying different lineups, different things but I think we're extremely quick and can handle and push the ball with those three.
"And then if you have Sam O and Drey in, they can run. I think that can be our quickest lineup - it doesn't always mean it's going to be our most effective - but I think we need to play it at times."
Ostarello led Purdue with 14 points, the high-scorer among five in double-figures. Houser had 13, with five assists and four steals in 18 minutes and Moses scored 11, despite being only 4-of-14 from the floor with seven misses from three-point range.
Purdue shot 46 percent for the game - LWC shot 27 percent and had 30 turnovers - with just 11 turnovers. And the Boilers controlled the boards, winning on the glass almost 2-to-1.
Following its scrimmage vs. ISU, Purdue said its goals were to be better on the boards and in transition defense.
"We still have a lot way to go, but we cleaned it up," Houser said.
Purdue did a lot well Sunday - twelve players played at least nine minutes and the four freshmen combined for 25 points and 13 rebounds - but the best sight of the day was Mingo.
"I was really, really excited to get to enjoy the game that I love with the people that I love again," she said. "It was awesome to be back out on the court."
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