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Women’s Basketball: Boilermakers lose to Pepperdine, 64-59

MALIBU, Calif. — The Purdue women’s basketball team lost to Pepperdine University on Sunday afternoon, 64-59. The Boilermakers are now 3-3 on the season.

Howell notched a game-high 20 points on 7-of-11 shooting. (

Howell notched a game-high 20 points on 7-of-11 shooting. (

Purdue got off to their second straight slow start on the road, starting the game with four turnovers and missing their first three shots over the opening four minutes of play as Pepperdine raced to a 7-0 lead. The Waves’ full court pressure created a hectic pace of play and allowed them to maintain their small advantage through the opening half as play was sloppy both ways. The two sides combined for 28 turnovers in the first 20 minutes, including 16 by Purdue. Neither side was impressive offensively, as Purdue netted just 33.3% of its field goals (8-for-24), including 0-for-8 from behind the arc, while Pepperdine was held to 32.3% from the floor (10-for-31), with a 1-for-10 mark from three.

While Purdue’s early points were sporadic, most came in spectacular fashion, including a pretty seven-foot floater by senior Jodi Howell off the left baseline and a pair of solid putbacks from freshman Ashley Wilson and senior Laura Garriga. Wilson did the bulk of the work for the Boilermakers late in the period, tallying 10 points, five boards and countless amazing hustle plays as she cut the lead as close as four (24-20) in the final minute.

The Boilermakers came out of the locker room inspired after the halftime break, opening the second half on a 7-0 run to take their first lead of the game, 27-26. Sophomore Samantha Woods capitalized on a pair of pretty feeds for four straight points and three-ball from the left corner by rookie KK Houser capped the run and forced a Pepperdine timeout.

The quick break calmed the Waves as a steal and score from sophomore Jazmine Jackson gave Pepperdine back a slight edge, and the two squads stayed close for the rest of the contest. Howell netted most of the Boilermakers’ scoring in the early see-saw action, draining a three and converting a deep pass from classmate FahKara Malone, while sophomore Chelsea Jones followed with a couple nice scores inside, laying in a feed from fellow second-year Brittany Rayburn and turned an offensive board into two points.

Rayburn put the Boilermakers on top 44-43 just inside the nine minute mark, cashing in her first three-pointer of the contest, and Wilson went on to give Purdue a three-point edge with a pair of free throws. The Old Gold and Black managed to trade two-for-three on the ensuing possessions, giving up a layup to senior Miranda Ayim, but finding Howell for the three in the left corner to make it 49-45 Purdue.

Ayim continued to carry the Waves on the offensive end, corralling her own miss for a reverse layup to cut it to two, and after a Howell free throw, Jackson and junior Joy Lelo regained the Pepperdine advantage, 51-50, on a layup and two free throws. The Waves’ lead bumped to three on a putback from sophomore Skye Barnett, but Howell sparked the Boilermakers back in front, nailing identical threes from the left corner to make it 56-55 Purdue with just over two minutes to play.

Pepperdine quickly jumped back on top on a three-pointer from Lelo, but Howell stayed white-hot, drilling a step-back three to continue the back-and-forth action. Ayim captured the lead for the home team for good with two free throws just inside the final minute, while the Waves cashed in four more charity tosses down the stretch.

Jackson led Pepperdine with 18 points, and added eight rebounds, two assists and two steals. Ayim and Barnett joined her in double figures as Ayim had a double-double with 16 points and 10 rebounds and Barnett had 13 points.

Howell finished with a game-high 20 points on 7-of-11 shooting, including five threes to lead Purdue, while Wilson added a career-best 16 points and eight rebounds for the Boilermakers.

Purdue returns to action Thursday, Dec. 3, visiting ACC rival Virginia in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge.

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