BLOOMINGTON, Ind. In a game highlighted by a $10,000 donation by the Vera Bradley Breast Cancer Foundation, No. 8 Purdue claimed a 71-47 victory over Indiana at Sunday in front of a crowd of 7,110.
The Boilers improved to 16-2 overall and 6-1 in Big Ten play, while the Hoosiers dipped to 10-8 overall and 3-4 in conference. The loss snapped a three-game home winning streak for Indiana over Big Ten opponents that dated back to February 23 of last year.
The original plan for the game was that if 10,000 fans were in attendance, a $10,000 donation would be made by the Vera Bradley Foundation to the IU Foundation. However, a furious winter storm in Bloomington that dumped several inches of snow kept the attendance under the desired total. With over 10,000 tickets purchased for the event prior to the snow storm, Vera Bradley still moved forward and made the donation.
In addition to the donation made by Vera Bradley, Indiana football coach Gerry DiNardo and his wife Terri added an extra $1,000 to the total, as the entire football team was in attendance.
The crowd of 7,110 that braved the terrible road conditions to drive to the game constituted the second-largest crowd in school history, trailing only the 7,986 that came to last years contest against Wisconsin in which Kathi Bennett made a $5,000 donation to the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation in commemoration of the schools existing attendance record falling.
As for the game, the Hoosiers remained in striking range, down only six at the beginning of the second half. However, Purdue pulled away with All-American Shereka Wright leading the way. The Boilermakers went on an 11-4 run to take a 44-31 lead with 13:06 remaining to get all the breathing room it needed. Wright scored the first nine points of the run.
Indiana star Jenny DeMuth was taken out of her game by the stingy Purdue defense, scoring 12 points on 3-of-12 shooting from the field. DeMuth entered the game averaging 20.2 points per game, ranking fourth in the Big Ten.
Both teams came out of the gates firing, with Indiana converting on five of its first six attempts from the field and Purdue going four for its first five. An 8-0 Boilermaker run midway through the first half gave Purdue a 14-11 lead. The Hoosiers answered, however, with a 7-0 run capped by an Annika Boyd three-pointer from the corner to give Indiana a 20-18 lead with 9:09 remaining in the first half. Boyds trey ended up being the last Indiana field goal until a DeMuth score with 17 seconds remaining in the half.
The play of Shereka Wright was a factor for Purdue, as she had a game-high 13 points in the first half to send the Boilers into the locker room with a 33-25 lead. Wright did the bulk of her damage by getting to the line, sinking seven of her eight first-half attempts from the charity stripe. As a team, Purdue was 12-for-24 from the field in the first half (.500 pct), while Indiana was 10-for-28 from the field in the first half (.357 pct).
With the Boilers entering the game ranked eighth in the latest Associated Press poll, one of the storylines entering the contest was the fact that Kathi Bennett has claimed two wins over top-10 teams, three wins over top-15 teams and six wins over top 25 teams in the last three years alone.
Sundays victory was the 12th for Purdue in the last 13 meetings between the two teams.
The Hoosiers return to action at 8 p.m. (EST) when they travel to Minneapolis to take on No. 9 Minnesota at Williams Arena.