WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (AP) -- Finally, Purdue can focus on the
Preseason WNIT championship game.
In between Wednesday's WNIT semifinal win over North Carolina
State and Sunday's championship game at Baylor, the Boilermakers (No. 13 ESPN/USA Today, No. 12 AP) defeated Washington 88-64 on Friday night. Katie
Gearlds scored 31 points and Lindsay Wisdom-Hylton had 13 points,
eight rebounds and a school-record tying seven blocks.
Andrea Plouffe led Washington (0-2) with 16 points and Cameo
Hicks added 13.
Purdue shot 58 percent from the field and made 10-of-14
3-pointers. Now, the Boilermakers can look forward to playing No.
"We're going to have our hands full," Gearlds said. "They're
a very good basketball team, and we've got to come ready to play.
If our minds are not in it, they could easily beat us by 20
Washington (No. 23 ESPN/USA Today) was competitive throughout the first half against
Purdue. The Boilermakers led 36-32 before closing the first half on
a 7-2 run.
Gearlds' 3-pointer with two seconds left gave the Boilermakers a
43-34 halftime lead. She scored 16 points in the first half.
The Boilermakers shot 67 percent before the break, offsetting
their 14 turnovers. Plouffe scored 10 points in the first half to
keep the Huskies close.
Purdue opened the second half on a 14-0 run to take a 57-34
lead. The Boilermakers held Washington scoreless for the first 5:09
of the second half before Plouffe made a 3-pointer to end the
drought. Purdue's largest lead was 27 points in the second half.
"We started moving the ball around because we weren't really
doing that much in the first half," Wisdom-Hylton said. "We had
to get down on the shooters because they were hitting pretty much
every shot they shot in the first half. We just had to kind of pack
it in and get out on the shooters. We did that and we were able to
get some stops and we were able to pick it up on offense."
Gearlds shot 11-for-18 from the field and 5-for-8 from 3-point
range. She also had six rebounds and four assists.
"Katie just let the game come to her," Purdue coach Sharon
Versyp said. "She loves to distribute the ball and be the leader
out on the court. I tell her sometimes get more in the game. She's
just like 'I love to pass. I love to feed my teammates.' A player
like that makes your team better and makes everyone around her
Washington shot 31 percent against Purdue in its second straight
poor shooting effort. The Huskies shot 30 percent in a
season-opening loss to Marquette.
Purdue has held all four of its opponents under 35 percent
shooting this season, and Wisdom-Hylton has been the catalyst.
"Lindsay could be one of the best ever," Versyp said. "She
gets better every single time on the court. Everybody looks at
numbers. She's points, she's blocked shots, she's steals ... She's
just amazing. You see her on defense, she's everywhere."