No. 13 Purdue women beat No. 4 Texas A&MBy CLIFF BRUNT, AP Sports Writer Sunday, Dec 4, 2011
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (AP)—Purdue coach Sharon Versyp unleashed her frustrations on the officials, and her team took notice.
Purdue’s Sam Ostarello stole the ball early in the second half of Sunday’s game against Texas A&M, and K.K. Houser drove to the hoop and drew contact. She was called for a charge, and Versyp was issued a technical foul for disagreeing with the call.
Texas A&M made the free throws to take a 37-29 lead, but the Boilermakers outscored the Aggies 31-14 from there. Courtney Moses scored 15 points and Brittany Rayburn added 14 to help No. 13 Purdue’s women defeat No. 4 Texas A&M 60-51 on Sunday in the Big 12/Big Ten Challenge.
“She put her head out there, so we’re going to back her up,” Rayburn said. “That’s what we do as a team. She went out there for us, and we had to get it back for her.”
Ostarello had seven points, 12 rebounds and four steals and Chelsea Jones added nine points and five rebounds for the Boilermakers.
“Personally, it hasn’t hit me yet,” Jones said. “I’m still like, `Yeah, we won a game.’ I think tomorrow will be that time where, like, nothing will be able to make me mad. I’ll just be in a good mood all day.”
The defending national champion Aggies (6-1) had their winning streak end at 12 games. A win would have set a school record for consecutive victories.
They might now face a losing streak—Texas A&M plays at No. 2 Connecticut on Tuesday night.
“If I’m UConn, I can’t wait for us to come in, because right now, we’ve got to become a better basketball team,” Texas A&M coach Gary Blair said. “Right now, we’ve got a team full of excuses. We’ve got to find the solutions.”
Purdue (7-1) bounced back after a 64-53 loss at No. 7 Duke on Thursday. It was Purdue’s first win over a Top 5 non-conference opponent since beating Texas in 2009, and its first win over a Top 5 non-conference opponent with both teams ranked since the No. 7 Boilermakers beat No. 5 Kansas State in 2003.
With No. 3 Notre Dame traveling to Purdue on Saturday, Versyp said it was important to get a win over Duke or Texas A&M before playing the Fighting Irish.
“All it can do is build confidence going into our next game,” she said. “We needed to win one of these, and I think this can be a catalyst to have some great things in the future here.”
Texas A&M had averaged 80 points per game, but the Aggies shot 28 percent from the field and made just 13 of 27 free throws. Guard Sydney Carter, the team’s No. 2 scorer with 13.5 points per game, finished with five points on 0-for-12 shooting. Adaora Elonu scored 12 points, Tyra White scored 11 and Kelsey Bone added 10 for the Aggies.
“We let them take us out of our game, and we kind of just rushed things,” Carter said. “We were complaining about calls and not getting calls. We’ve just got to make sure we play through that.”
The Boilermakers overcame 24 turnovers and 38 percent shooting.
After Versyp’s technical, a 3-point play by Ostarello gave the Boilermakers the lead, and a 3-pointer and layup on a baseline cut by Rayburn pushed the lead to 49-42 with 7:36 to play.
The Boilermakers increased their lead to 56-47 on a pullup jumper by Rayburn with just under 2 minutes to play.
“Our team is very resilient,” Versyp said. “We know how to grind things out. We have other players stepping up all the time in different games. This one, we brought it all together.”
Blair said his team fell apart after halftime, when it made just 4 of 24 shots.
“Second half, it was just a little bit of a comedy of errors and good play on their part.”
Follow Cliff Brunt on Twitter: www.twitter.com/cliffbruntap
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