McLaughlin comes up clutch as Purdue sweep IU, 56-53

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Purdue freshman Kayana Traylor grew up about 20 miles from Bloomington and was around Indiana basketball most of her life. She made the choice to head north to join the Boilermakers and had her first opportunity to face their arch rival Sunday at Mackey Arena. She made the most of it, pouring in a career-high 15 points to guide the Purdue women’s basketball team to a 56-53 victory over visiting Indiana and push the Boilermakers to 14-6 overall and 5-2 in Big Ten Conference play.
Following an 18-11 wrestling victory Friday over Indiana in Mackey and men’s basketball’s 70-55 triumph over the No. 25 Hoosiers on Saturday, the Purdue women made it three wins in three days on their home floor. The win snapped a streak of three straight losses to the Hoosiers, and improved the Boilermakers’ all-time series edge to 55-31, including a 26-11 mark on their home floor.

Traylor did the bulk of her damage early against the Hoosiers, dropping in eight points in the first quarter, but came up with huge buckets in the second half and helped push her team over the top. Less than a week after coughing up eight turnovers at No. 20 Rutgers, she bounced back and had only one Sunday, adding three rebounds, two assists and two steals, while hitting 5-of-10 from the floor.
“When she’s attacking, when she’s aggressive, that’s when we’re great,” said sophomore teammate Karissa McLaughlin. “That’s what she did tonight, she was all over them on both ends of the floor, pressuring the ball on defense and pushing her way to the bucket on offense.”
McLaughlin was no slouch in the win, scoring six of her 14 points in the fourth quarter, including the game-winning bucket with 25 seconds left. She took a screen at the top of the key, knifed down the left side of the lane and kissed the ball off the glass, giving Purdue a 54-53 edge and forcing an Indiana timeout. The Boilermakers came up with a stop on the other end and it was McLaughlin again pulling down the rebound and walking 90 feet to drop in two more free throws for the final difference. With one last chance to tie, the Hoosiers inbounded and, once again, McLaughlin defended the last second heave that fell wide right as time expired.
McLaughlin did almost all of her work over the final 20 minutes, scoring Purdue’s final bucket of the first half before dropping in the other 12 in the second. She and juniors Dominique Oden and Ae’Rianna Harris were limited to just eight combined points in the first half, as Indiana went to the locker rooms with a 32-27 halftime edge.
The Boilermakers opened the second half with an 8-0 run to get back into the game, and it remained a tight one all the way down the stretch. Purdue held the lead through the rest of the third, but the fourth quarter would feature three ties and four lead changes as neither team would go away. Both teams struggled from the field as Indiana was 4-of-15 shooting, while Purdue went nine minutes between Oden’s opening bucket of the quarter and McLaughlin’s game-winner, their only two of the fourth. The Boilermakers cashed in at the free throw line down the stretch, hitting 8-of-10, and finishing 16-of-21 for the game.
Sophomore Tamara Farquhar just missed a double-double for the Boilermakers with 10 points and nine rebounds, while Harris had nine boards and three blocked shots and Oden tallied eight points, six rebounds and three assists.
Sophomores Bendu Yeaney and Jaelynn Penn paced the Hoosiers with 15 and 13 points, respectively, while Yeaney added four rebounds and four assists. The Purdue defense limited Indiana’s leading scorer, junior Ali Patberg, to two points on 1-of-12 shooting and forced the Hoosiers into 17 turnovers. Patberg entered the game tied for fourth in the conference in scoring at 17.2 points per game. Indiana drops to 15-4 overall and 4-3 in the Big Ten with the loss.
The Boilermakers kept pace with No. 9 Maryland at second place in the Big Ten and remain two games back from 20th-ranked Rutgers, who improved to 7-0 in conference play. Purdue returns to action Thursday, playing the first of back-to-back road games at No. 23 Minnesota, set to tip at 8 p.m. ET at Williams Arena.

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