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February 14, 2013

Boilers rally at Wisconsin

Trailing by eight at the half at Wisconsin, Purdue needed a wake-up call.

And it got one, from KK Houser; the junior point guard scored 17 of her game-high 20 points to lead the 18th-ranked Boilermakers to a 58-48 come-from-behind victory in Madison.

"She just took over the game," Coach Sharon Versyp said on her post-game radio show. "She was the only one knocking down outside shots."

The victory snapped a two-game losing streak for Purdue (19-5 overall, 8-3 in the Big Ten) and kept it a couple games back of Penn State in the league standings. But perhaps more importantly, after a slow start, the Boilers played well in several facets.

"I thought we collectively finally came together," she said. "They played a 2-3 zone and I thought we shot awful the first half, but came out in the second and played amazing."

Purdue had a season-low 10 turnovers for the game and shot 50 percent in the second half, when it outscored the Badgers (11-14, 3-9) 38-20. The Boilers also won 41-33 on the boards, thanks to eight boards by Drey Mingo and Sam Ostarello, and held Wisconsin to only 34 percent shooting.

But the start was ugly; Purdue scored only 20 in the first half, hitting less than 26 percent of their field goal attempts. But Houser's three to start the second helped provide a jump-start. Four minutes later, she hit the first of her two consecutive long balls, tying the game at 33.

A fourth triple pulled the Boilers to within one, 37-36.

Purdue trailed by four with 11 minutes left before Mingo got hot. The senior had struggled from the field the first 30 minutes, but she scored night straight to give the Boilers a five-point lead with 3:19 left.

Meanwhile, the Boilers' defense was outstanding, holding the hosts to only six points in the final 11-plus minutes. Wisconsin leading scorer Morgan Paige scored only four on 1-of-11 shooting, often while being hounded by Dee Dee Williams.

"Dee Dee's length makes a big difference," Versyp said. "They didn't get a lot of transition opportunities and that's where she knocks down a lot of threes.

"I thought she did a fantastic job and when she came out, KK did a great job on her."

Jacki Gulczynski led the Badgers with 19, while Nicole Bauman had 14. Cassie Rochel had 13 rebounds with nine points and seven blocks.

Mingo finished with 12 points, while April Wilson came off the bench to score seven. Courtney Moses was held to only two and took just two field goals.

Copyright, Boilers, Inc. 2013. 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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