14th-ranked Boilermakers cruise to win over Red Foxes

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ST. THOMAS - Marist College was no match for No. 14 Purdue on Thursday at Paradise Jam.

The Boilermakers took a 39-19 lead into halftime, and junior guard KK Houser hit two 3-pointers to start the second half as Purdue cruised to a 71-50 Thanksgiving night win at the UVI Sports and Fitness Center.

"I think the biggest thing is they're five players that you have to guard from the perimeter, and that's different with fours and fives the size we have to do that," Purdue coach Sharon Versyp said. "So we tried to focus on hedging hard so the guards couldn't get easy layups. Try to force them to shoot as many threes, and we were fortunate to have the pressure and they didn't knock down a lot of threes in the first half and I think that was the difference."

Houser scored a game-high 17 points and finished with four 3-pointers. Purdue junior guard Courtney Moses added 14 points, and senior forward Drey Mingo had 13. The Boilermakers had a 16-rebound advantage, and senior forward Sam Ostarello pulled down a game-high nine boards.

Purdue led by 20 at halftime with efficient shooting, making 13-of-24 shots, and the Boilermakers got to the free-throw line for 10 points.

"We just wanted to throw something different at em, so we tried starting out with switching, but it wasn't working so well," Houser said. "We just went back to our regular defense, and when we started playing that, we were shooting the gaps and getting easy steals, which were easy buckets for us, which were just boosting us on offense and defense."

Marist had 14 turnovers and the Boilermakers took advantage with 24 points off takeaways.

"We got good looks," Marist coach Brian Giorgis said. "The thing is we had some bad turnovers in a stretch there where they got easy baskets."

Marist shot just 18 percent from long range, and is suffering without sophomore Tori Jarosz, who will likely miss the entire season with a fractured wrist.

"We have really struggled offensively shooting the basketball," Giorgis said. "And the thing is, we felt going into this season it was the best 3-point shooting team that we've had, but right now we're just not shooting it well."

Junior forward Emma O'Connor led the Red Foxes with 10 points.

Purdue plays Wake Forest at 7 tonight and Marist plays No. 2 UConn at 9:15 p.m.

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