Three players scored in double figures for the Boilermakers (3-0), who picked up the 700th victory in program history. Sam Ostarello scored 10 of her 13 in the second half to lead the Boilermakers.
Courtney Moses added 12 points and eight rebounds.
“That’s what we need because if someone’s struggling offensively someone else can step up and do the work,” Purdue coach Sharon Versyp said. “We need to have a balanced attack. If it’s three guards that have 10 points or three post players that have 10 points, it doesn’t really matter. I think that is why we’ll be hard to defend as we continue to play and go down the stretch—they can’t take one or two options away.”
The defense was even more impressive.
In winning its first three games, UT-Martin (3-1) averaged 80 points and 12 made 3-pointers but the Skyhawks shot just .278 (15-of-54) overall, .273 (6-of-22) from the 3-point line while scoring less than half its previous mean.
“They were real physical,” UT-Martin coach Kevin McMillan said. “When you’re a guard-oriented team, if the game’s going to be allowed to be physical, you’ve got to find a way to make them work and we didn’t. They’re so big and they’re able to switch some things they were able to take advantage.”
Heather Butler led UT-Martin with 19 points but Jasmine Newsome, who entered the game with a 25.3 scoring average, was held to just two points on 1-of-9 shooting with eight turnovers.
“We were really prepared for their guards today,” said Purdue guard KK Houser. “We had to be up in their face all the time, just know where they were. Our biggest goal was to keep (Butler) and (Newsome) and know where they’re at the whole time. I think we did a great job, the guards getting out and pressuring them. There were times when we slipped but I thought for the most part we had great effort.”
With a deep rotation of post players, Purdue also controlled things inside, scoring 43 of its points in the lane. Coming off a sloppy performance in a 54-53 victory at Bowling Green that included 23 turnovers—10 from Houser—the Boilermakers gave it away just seven times Sunday as Houser played a mistake-free game.
“My biggest goal was making sure I came back and performed better, took care of the ball,” said Houser. “I told myself not to worry about the turnovers too much or they’ll keep happening. I wanted to control the tempo of the game so I tried to slow things down. For the most part I had good self-control today.”
Purdue controlled the game from the outset, jumping to a 16-4 lead as UT-Martin made just two of its first 18 shots, and took a 27-15 lead into the locker room. The Boilermakers started the second half on a 9-1 run, with Ostarello scoring six, to push the lead to 36-16. UT-Martin got no closer than 14 the rest of the way.
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