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December 21, 2012

Boilers run away from Jaguars

When the Boilermakers were in the half court Friday afternoon, they looked a bit lethargic, perhaps with the thoughts of a holiday dancing in their heads.

But on the fast break, they were nearly unstoppable, at least for IUPUI, providing plenty to zip past the Jaguars 78-53 in the Mackey Arena matinee.

"We hit the posts a couple times running down the floor," said Courtney Moses, who scored a team-high 18 points. "That was really good. We had (21) assists, so we were sharing the ball. When we got out and ran, we scored or were able to get to the foul line."

No. 12 Purdue (11-1), which placed four in double-figures, shot 56 percent from the floor, hitting 27 of 45 (60 percent) from two-point range. It outrebounded the Jaguars (6-6), had 13 steals (of 22 IUPUI turnovers) and rejected six shots. But it wasn't flawless; the Boilermakers also committed 22 turnovers, many of them errant passes in the half-court offense.

"They were denying us pretty hard, especially from the post spot," said Drey Mingo, who had 13 points and eight rebounds. "We needed to be stronger as far as handling the ball in the half court."

But otherwise, Purdue was solid. In the early going, Moses hit Dee Dee Williams, who had six points in her second straight positive outing offensively, for a fast-break layup. Then Moses found Ostarello on the break for two more, putting the Boilers up 12-4.

It was Mingo over the top for a layup, off a long feed from Ostarello, that started another string midway through the first. After corralling a loose ball, Moses found April Wilson with a behind-the-back layup, then she finished her own three-point play after a steal.

When Mingo hit two free throws at 8:34, Purdue was up 23-13.

"The problem for us is with the turnovers and not getting back in transition a few times on defense, which we said was the No. 1 thing," said IUPUI coach Austin Parkinson, a former Boilermaker. "Drey Mingo does a great job of running and those guards do a great job of looking for her."

But due to Purdue's propensity to turn it over, the Boilermakers couldn't pull away until five minutes into the second half. After leading by eight at the break, Purdue scored 10 straight for a 20-point edge at 15:15 of the second.

IUPUI cut the margin to 14 moments later, but a bucket by Liza Clemons and a triple by Moses again put the game out of reach.

The win was Purdue's sixth straight heading into an eight-day layup before facing ranked Notre Dame in South Bend.

"I feel like we've grown every game and every practice since the beginning of the year to now," said Moses, who had four assists and four steals. "It's hard to believe we're 12 games in, and a third of the season is done. I'm very happy and I think everybody on the team is, but we're not satisfied at all."

Ostarello chipped in 15 points, with seven rebounds, three assists and three points. KK Houser scored 13 with three steals and four assists, but she had seven turnovers.

"We had some carelessness," said Versyp of Purdue's 22 turnovers. "I think our kids are tired. They've been through a lot, had finals, it's a long week.

"… We did some great things, but we need a break."

The crowd might have brought the Boilermakers an extra boost. About 3,600 children from area elementary schools attended, providing an audible buzz throughout most of the arena and with spontaneous bursts of cheers.

"It's really nice to have the kids in the crowd," Mingo said. "We talked before the game about being good role models for the kids and all the baby Boilers who were watching us today."

DeAirra Goss led Parkinson's team with 24 points on 9-of-23 shooting, with seven rebounds. The visitors shot only 36 percent from the floor.

Purdue saw the return of director of basketball operations Terry Kix to the bench. Kix has been away the last two road games, while she seeks chemotherapy for stomach cancer.

It might have provided an emotional lift.

"It's tough on the kids," Versyp said. "They just don't know when she's going to show up, and they don't really ask me a lot. But we knew she was going to be there today, so when they came in (to the locker room) the last time, with 10 minutes left (before the tip), you can feel the energy and they're so excited to see her."

Copyright, Boilers, Inc. 2012. All Rights Reserved. Reproducing or using editorial or graphical content, in whole or in part, without permission, is strictly prohibited. E-mail GoldandBlack.com/Boilers, Inc.

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