CANCUN, Mexico -- Brittany Rayburn scored 20 points and KK Houser added 15 to help Purdue (No. 17 ESPN/USA Today, No. 15 AP) beat Tulane 61-48 on Thursday at the Cancun Challenge.
Rayburn hit five of eight 3-pointers.
"I missed my first few shots but everybody kept telling me to keep shooting it," Rayburn said. "We didn't get to shoot in this gym (prior to warm-ups) so I knew that it was something that I just had to get going. I got hot and people kept finding me."
The Boilermakers (5-0) relied on their defense as turnovers continue to be a problem. Purdue committed a season-high 27 turnovers against the Green Wave, several against full-court pressure, and Tulane had an opportunity to tie or take the lead at 7:39 with the score 48-46 on a steal by Tulane's Danielle Blagg, but the Boilermakers got the stops they needed.
Purdue held Tulane scoreless in the final 7:39 with the exception of two free throws by Olivia Grayson with 47 seconds left. Sam Ostarello added nine points and 10 rebounds for the Boilermakers, who will face Kansas State on Friday.
"We had really high energy coming into the game. Defense was strong, we were little pesks, all over them," Houser said. "We set the tempo of the game today. Second half we came out a little slow and they went on their run, but we stayed together as a team and just kept pushing."
Purdue was supposed to play in this tournament last season, but Drey Mingo was hospitalized the night before the team's scheduled departure with a life-threatening case of bacterial meningitis. The team rescheduled the trip for this season, but although Mingo made the trip, she won't play because of an ACL injury.
Brett Benzio scored 11 points, and Blagg and Grayson each had 10 for Tulane (4-1). The Green Wave were coming off an impressive overtime win last weekend over then-No. 20 LSU.