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December 9, 2012

Purdue rallies to beat Skyhawks





For only the second time this season, the Boilermakers trailed a game at the half.

But unlike the first, deficit didn't last long; Purdue rallied Sunday afternoon by scoring the first 15 points of the second, taking the lead against UT-Martin and not relinquishing it.

"We battled back after they got ahead," Coach Sharon Versyp said in her post-game radio interview, following Purdue's 68-60 win . "We haven't been down, except for UConn at halftime. But we rallied on the road, so I'm really pleased."

It was 29-25 at the break before the No. 15 Boilermakers (9-1) rallied, with Drey Mingo and Sam Ostarello leading the charge. The duo scored the first 13 of Purdue's 15-point spurt.

The two each finished with double-doubles: Ostarello scored 16 points with 10 rebounds, while Mingo had 11 and 10, with three blocks. It was a particularly big second half for Ostarello, who had all but two points and two boards after halftime.

"But she's got to do it both halves and I don't just accept one," Versyp said. "She's done it too many times. … Sam has to be better, when you're a senior and have done as much as she has."

Purdue's inside dominance - freshman center Taylor Manuel tied Ostarello for team-high scoring honors, with five more rebounds - helped offset an off-night from the perimeter. Leading scorer Courtney Moses was held scoreless, missing all seven of her shots, and Purdue hit just 3-of-13 three-pointers. KK Houser had eight points and eight assists, but shot only 2-of-8.

"Courtney, I'm not sure where she's at mentally," Versyp said. "… I don't know what's up with her but at least we have a week to take a breath (for finals) and get refocused."

After Purdue's 15-0 run to start the second half, UT-Martin got to with seven a couple of times, the latest at 8:09 remaining. But the Boilers had the edge back to 12 three minutes later and they were never again threatened.

Purdue shot better than 53 percent in the second half to come back, and held a 46-32 advantage on the boards. Freshman April Wilson added 11 points and seven rebounds off the bench. The Skyhawks (4-7) made only 28.6 percent; they had only four made field goals, outside of leading scores Heather Butler and Jasmine Newsome. But those two combined to score 49.

"They played great," Versyp said. "They scored 28 and 21, we knew it was going to be them. We tried to double-team them and they still got around us."




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