Purdue was excellent to start the first half against Bowling Green Monday night, then replicated the effort to start the second.
The two spurts were plenty to offset an otherwise disjointed affair, as the 18th-ranked Boilermakers picked up their third win in as many games to start the season.
Purdue (3-0) got off to a quick start, scoring 10 of the first 12 points, in large part by turning its work on the glass into easy transition scoring opportunities. The start of the second was similar; after the Falcons (2-1) scored the first two after intermission, cutting the margin to five, the Boilers reeled off nine straight in about a two-minute span to regain control.
"We did that in the beginning of the first half," Coach Sharon Versyp said after Purdue's 59-45 victory in Mackey Arena, "and we talked about it at halftime, that we need to get out and do the same thing in the second half. … Everything that we ran, about four plays in a row, we did the right thing and we were able to attack."
Those four possessions forced a Bowling Green timeout at 17:06, with the Boilermakers up by 14; afterward they were never again seriously threatened and built their lead to as many as 21. In the stretch to start the second, Sam Ostarello hit a layup on an offensive rebound, then KK Houser found Chantel Poston for a layup and Courtney Moses for a triple. Moses end the run by converting a steal for a layup.
"We had couple turnovers there," said BGSU coach Jennifer Roos, whose team had 17 giveaways and shot only 27.5 percent. "We knew that if we didn't turn it over, they couldn't score quickly in transition. But they got a couple easy transition points against us."
Purdue dominated on the interior, significantly outscoring the visitors in the paint. And the Boilermakers probably could have done even better inside, but suffered a slew of misses from in close. The Boilermakers shot only 39.2 percent.
But they got double-double efforts for Drey Mingo, who had 13 points and 12 rebounds, and Ostarello, who had 12 and 12. The two were the first pair of Boilers to have double-doubles in a single game since 2009, when Lindsay Wisdom-Hylton and Danielle Campbell did so.
"I definitely think we were able to establish an inside game early and continued with that in the second half," said Ostarello, who hit 5-of-9 from the floor and tied her career-high with four blocks. "We missed some easy shots, but I felt like we kept going after our rebounds and boarding really hard."
Following Bowling Green's timeout early in the second, Poston connected on a couple of free throws, then hit a short jumper. The junior looked more aggressive offensively than she had yet this season, scoring 12 on 3-of-4 shooting.
"My coaches and teammates put me in good position to score," said Poston, who hit all six of her free throws. "(Coach) called a play we run to try to get me a post-up … and we wanted to take advantage of a mismatch inside."
Ostarello followed with a baby hook, and then freshman Taylor Manuel hit a layup, although she missed the ensuing free throw. Later, the freshman stole the ball at midcourt, dribbled by a defender and scored, showing off athleticism that belies her size.
"Taylor Manuel might be the biggest freshman I've ever seen," Roos said, complimenting the Boiler's play. "Someone check her birth certificate."
Purdue outrebounded Bowling Green 37-33, thanks in large part to Ostarello and Mingo. The former had 11 of her 12 rebounds in the second half, when she averaged better than one every two minutes.
"Sam Ostarello might be one of the best rebounders not only in the Big Ten but in this region," Roos said. "She's a kid who can rebound outside her area."
Purdue's dominance inside helped offset rough shooting night from the perimeter. KK Houser and Moses combined for shot 4-of-17 for 12 points.
No Falcon scored in double-figures, as Purdue held leading scorer Chrissy Steffen, who came in averaging about 20 per game, to only eight.
"We rotated (on her) and had a lot of communication, a lot of talking," Poston said.
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