Jan. 21, 2007
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - Indiana got double-doubles from sophomore Whitney Thomas and freshman Jamie Braun but could not overcome a hot-shooting Purdue squad as the 12th-ranked Boilermakers took an 81-58 win over the Hoosiers on Branch McCracken Court at Assembly Hall on Sunday, Jan. 21.
Thomas scored a team-high 17 points to go with 10 rebounds, while Braun added 12 points and 10 boards. Junior Nikki Smith netted 13 points by way of three 3-pointers and senior Sarah McKay added 11 points in the effort.
The Boilermakers (18-3, 7-0 Big Ten) got on the scoreboard quickly and often, taking a 10-0 lead in the first four-plus minutes of the game. A pair of free throws from Smith put the Hoosiers (13-7, 2-5) on the board, but a 3-pointer by Katie Gearlds with 15:17 on the clock increased Purdue's lead to 13-2. Back-to-back 3-pointers by Smith pulled IU within five, but a 16-2 Purdue run increased the Boiler's lead to 19, 29-10, with 9:14 to go. A layup by Leah Enterline sparked a 9-0 run by the Hoosiers, which cut Purdue's lead to 10, 29-19, at the 6:31 mark. However, the Boilermakers outscored the Hoosiers, 9-5, to take a 38-24 lead into the break.
A 3-pointer by Jodi Howell within the first 20 seconds of the second half got the Boilermakers going on a 12-4 run that increased their advantage to 22, 50-28, with 13:59 remaining in the game. Purdue was able to maintain at least a 17-point lead en route to the 81-58 victory.
Purdue outshot Indiana, 54.5 percent (30-of-55) to 34.3 percent (24-of-70) from the floor. However, the Hoosiers matched the Boilermakers on the boards as they grabbed 36 apiece, while IU dominated the offensive glass, 17-6. Indiana also registered eight steals off of 15 Boilermaker turnovers.
Indiana set a season high in attendance with 5,010 Hoosier faithful, which ranks fifth all-time in program history.
Thomas' double-double was her fifth of the season, while Braun recorded her second.
Gearlds scored a game-high 21 points to lead Purdue. Lindsay Wysdom-Hilton added 15 points and 10 rebounds, FahKara Malone tallied 13 points and Erin Lawless contributed with 11 points.
The Hoosiers return to action on Thursday, Jan. 25, when they visit fifth-ranked Ohio State. Tip-off against the Buckeyes is set for 7 p.m. ET.
IU Postgame Quotes
Head Coach Felisha Legette-Jack
"I'd like to thank the community of Bloomington and the fans of Indiana sports for coming out and supporting us. The fans were just amazing. There were over 5,000 fans and they supported us even though we didn't play as well as we could have. Some of our kids, they didn't surrender at all, they played great Indiana basketball, but a couple of our players just wouldn't show up, no matter how much we pleaded and begged, a couple of them just didn't show up, and that's not fair to these players on my left and right (Whitney Thomas and Jamie Braun). We'll continue to fight and we'll continue to learn the lessons and grow as a team and as a family."
On the slow start to the game:
"That definitely didn't help. I tell you, I want to thank Coach Versyp. She could have gone up by 40 if she wanted to today. She pulled her horses off, and that's the side that people don't see. I'm always going to share the respect when it is deserved, and I want to thank her for that. We didn't come out with the intestinal fortitude that we were prepared to come out with. Elaine Mellencamp was in the locker room, and she was ready to play. If we could have suited her up, I think we would have had one more soldier. It is what it is, and we have a tight stretch here. We had Purdue and Purdue and then at Ohio State, those are games that are really tough games ... but we have to find a way to not lose who we are and stay in it."
On the team's offensive rebounding:
"Jamie Braun has done a tremendous job of going after every rebound, with six rebounds as probably the second-smallest person on the court. When you don't worry about your height and you put your heart on the line, I think you stand a lot taller, and she showed today that she has intestinal fortitude and she went after some really big rebounds. Whitney did a great job as well; we had a double-double from Whitney. She is the kind of player where she could have had 27 and 15 if she had started the game off with the kind of aggression she finished with. We're going to learn these lessons, it is a young team and this is a game that has me puzzled a little bit. I'm not sure why we didn't come to play. We can handle losing, we can handle getting beaten by a lot of points, but I can't handle the way we played today."
On Purdue's shooting:
"They definitely shot well today. We played with a lot more intestinal fortitude, we played with a lot more intensity at Purdue. I'm not certain why we didn't play that way today. This crowd was electrifying. I felt like putting my sneakers on and playing, and something every young woman should want to have is that atmosphere. We let that atmosphere down, and we hope that our fans will continue to support us and allow us to grow and understand the magnitude of their support. We certainly will not take it for granted another day."
On the play of Katie Gearlds:
"She is going to represent the Big Ten in a big time way. She is certainly a big argument for an All-American, she's up for Nasmith, she's definitely a special player. They grow special players in the state of Indiana. There were a couple of times that we missed her because we were trying things with our defense, but even though we saw her and were in her face, she was hitting big shots. She's a special player."
Sophomore forward Whitney Thomas
Thoughts on the game:
"It was a tough game. It was very physical in there, and they are pretty athletic and good shooters, so we were just trying to fight back the whole game."
On what she is going to do to get ready for Ohio State:
"Well, we're just going to get better from here. There is just so much that we did wrong and so much we can improve on, and we will see how we can beat Ohio State, and be aggressive and attack."
On if there was a point in the game that took the wind out of the team's sails:
"I don't think there was one point in the game. We got down at the beginning and we were just fighting our way back."
Freshman guard Jamie Braun
Thoughts on the game:
"It was kind of hard, trying to come back from that deficit. We weren't hitting as many shots and they were hitting the shots, but we kept playing hard."