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November 23, 2012Through the first several games of the season, Sam Ostarello's rebounding numbers have been at an All-Big Ten level.
Her scoring matched her board work Friday evening, as the senior forward helped Purdue to its fifth straight victory, a 67-53 over Wake Forest on the second day of the Paradise Jam in the Virgin Islands.
Ostarello scored 15, the leader as all five starters scored in double-figures, and had a career-high 15 rebounds, with four assists in 34 minutes.
"Sam O dominated on the boards," Coach Sharon Versyp said in her post-game radio interview. "She scored well, but we need her to score more, because she had a lot of (missed) layups. She's got to finish those layups, she's all finesse and has to be more power."
The Boilermakers (5-0) started quickly, racing to a 29-13 lead in the first 13 minutes, getting the margin to 16 following an offensive tip-in and free throw by Ostarello. But KK Houser's foul trouble - the point guard played only four first-half minutes due to picking up her second - caused the Boilermakers some issues. Wake Forest ended the half on a 14-5 run to get the margin within seven, 34-27, at the break.
The margin was down to one at 9:24 left in the second before the Boilermakers responded. Houser hit a jumper, and free throw, before sinking a three-pointer. Then Drey Mingo hit a couple free throws to extend the lead back to nine.
It reached 10 when Chantel Poston hit a layup at 3:05.
"We haven't had a close game where we had to show a lot of resiliency," Versyp said. " I was really happy, because we hadn't been in a close game and it came down to execution. We made some free throws."
Houser finished with 12 - and had eight turnovers - in only 24 minutes of work. Courtney Moses and Poston each had 11, while Mingo had 10 points and seven rebounds.
Purdue had 21 turnovers, but forced 24, and had a rebounding advantage of 40-29.
"We only had six or seven players who were really focused today and those were the only ones we played," Versyp said. "People got in and didn't do some things, so we had to ride our horses because it's a very important game."
No. 14 Purdue, which is 2-0 in the Jam, takes on second-ranked UConn on Saturday.