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PURDUE WOMENS BASKETBALL:
Purdue 59, Iowa 46
© Old Gold Free Press Columnists
One of those little life lessons that one often reads on wall plaques or compiled into books with Chicken Soup in their title is this: “When you find yourself in a hole, stop digging.” I’ve heard it attributed to Texan humorist Molly Ivins, although I suspect it predates her. (Just as there’s a contributor to a UConn message board whose signature line is, “When the going gets tough, the tough get going.” – Sue Bird). This year’s edition of the Purdue Boilermakers would do well to take this message to heart. They’ve spent all season digging holes for themselves when they should be climbing out of them. To their credit, they have been spending much less time digging and more time climbing of late. But it’s been three steps forward, two steps back all season. The team experienced its latest setback in East Lansing. The Boilers allowed a win to slip through their fingers, and needed to beat Iowa on Thursday night to climb back into a tie for the Big Ten lead.
Knocking off the Hawkeyes was not going to be an easy task. Coming into the game they boasted a record of 17-7, including an 8 game winning streak. The team is primarily comprised of interchangeable six foot forwards that all pass and shoot well but are not particularly athletic or physical. Iowa may be one of the few teams in the country that can claim to start a center, 3 forwards, and one guard. Purdue jumped out to an early lead by playing up tempo and beating the Hawkeye’s in transition. The Boilers maintained the advantage and enjoyed a comfortable lead going into the locker room, 36-27.
In the second half, however, the shovels came out. Purdue went ice cold, and struggled to hold onto the ball. Iowa was having difficulty scoring as well, but they managed to steadily eat into Purdue’s lead. They came as close as 3 points when Johanna Solverson hit a jumper at the 6 minute mark. The score at that point was 46-43. Those readers with a mathematical bent will realize that this score indicated that the Boilers managed 10 points total in 14 minutes of play. Versyp responded by subbing in Keisha “Instant Offense” Mosley. All Keisha did was get the ball and get her defender moving. Once she has a shoulder by it’s all over. The freshman knocked the lid off the basket with 4 quick points. The rest of the team regained confidence and were able to find the basket as well. They rapidly pulled away down the stretch, and the final score was 59-46.
There were times during the game that Kiki Freeman brought the ball up the court while FahKara Malone played shooting guard. This proved to be an effective strategy. Kiki quietly went about doing everything a player can do. She nailed 2 three point baskets, which makes one wonder why she’s not shooting more of them. Defensively, FahKara was able to shut down Kristi Smith, Iowa’s highest scorer.
The Boilers next must attempt to keep the momentum going in Columbus. Ohio State has had a week to prepare their revenge, and they will prove to be a very difficult foe. Unfortunately, for the Old Gold and Black to have a decent shot at a first place finish it’s a game they must win. If the team plays up to its potential, they have a better than average chance of pulling it off.
Game Ball: Kiki Freeman