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Rangy Purdue Women's Team Makes Anteaters Look More Like Ants

Stan Jastrzebski

It's common when assessing a basketball player that coaches or scouts will care more about the person's wingspan than their height.

Though they also held a height advantage at every position against UC-Irvine, it was the long arms of the Purdue women's team that led them to a 69-44 victory. 

The Anteaters started a pair of guards who stand 5-foot-3 and 5-foot-4, respectively -- well shorter than Purdue's outside defenders. Consequently, the harassing style of Purdue's sideline trap made passing difficult for UCI -- but not impossible.

The Boilermakers collected ten steals for the game, but it was the visitors who led 16-13 midway through the first half, before going into an eight-minute scoring drought and allowing Purdue to open a double-digit lead.

But sloppy play by the Boilers at the end of the first half and beginning of the second allowed the Anteaters to regain the lead 90 seconds into the second frame, thanks in large part to Purdue overplaying its advantages on defense.

UCI turned Purdue double-teams into a string of passes to the elbows on both sides of the lane, leading to a number of made midrange jumpers.

But the Anteaters couldn't string together enough baskets to build a substantial lead. And when their shooting went south soon after, the Boilermakers went on a 27-5 run to put the game away.

It was the first of three straight game days for the home team. Coach Sharon Versyp's squad faces Denver and Wright State before adjourning for the holiday recess.