NOTRE DAME, Ind. (Purdue Sports) – The ninth-seeded Purdue women’s basketball team advanced in the NCAA Tournament with a 74-62 win over No. 8 seed Green Bay at Purcell Pavilion on Friday at Notre Dame. Senior Ashley Morrissette paced the Boilermakers with a game-high 24 points, while the freshman duo of Dominique Oden and Ae’Rianna Harris combined for 25 points.
The Boilermakers started quickly and stayed efficient throughout the ballgame, racing out to a 17-3 lead on the strength of a 15-0 run. Purdue relinquished just three first quarter field goals, all coming from behind the 3-point line, and led 21-9 after the first quarter.
Green Bay rallied in the second, cutting into Purdue’s lead, but the Boilermakers answered each time and carried an eight-point advantage into halftime. Morrissette had 10 points at the midway points, while Harris hit all four of her first-half field goal attempts before sitting out the last few minutes with two fouls. The Boilermakers held Green Bay to just 28.6 percent from the floor in the first half, including a four-of-15 clip from distance.
The second half brought more of the same for the Boilermakers as they answered every Green Bay run and held off the Phoenix for the win. The lead extended to as many as 18 points, and was trimmed as close as five (62-57 with 2:35 left), but a huge 3 from Oden put things to bed as the 3-point well ran dry for Green Bay and Purdue was clutch at the free throw line. The Boilermakers finished 26-of-30 at the stripe, and connected on 51.2 percent from the field on the evening.
Purdue hung 74 points on the Phoenix, who ranked second in the NCAA in scoring defense coming into the game at 51 points per game allowed, and outrebounded them, 39-27, despite their +8.6 rebounding margin. Oden finished with 13 points, while Harris totaled 12 points on six-for-six shooting, seven rebounds and three blocks. Junior Andreona Keys stuffed the stat sheet with nine points, seven rebounds, six assists and two steals, while sophomore Dominique McBryde added eight boards.
Mehryn Kraker scored 23 to lead Green Bay, who finishes its season at 27-6, while Jessica Lindstrom added 15 points and a game-high 12 rebounds. The Phoenix made 32.9 percent from the field, their second-worst shooting percentage of the season, and were limited to just nine defensive rebounds, marking the lowest by a Purdue opponent in NCAA Tournament history.
The Boilermakers advance to face top-seeded Notre Dame on Sunday, with the game time to be announced by the NCAA. The Fighting Irish topped 16-seed Robert Morris, 79-49, in the nightcap at Purcell Pavilion.