Despite a slow start, the women’s basketball team leads No. 19 Purdue 39-38 at halftime. Redshirt freshman guard Aerial Powers has nine points, seven rebounds, and four assists at halftime, leading MSU in each category.
Junior center Jasmine Hines has eight points and three rebounds, and senior guard Klarissa Bell has seven points.
Purdue redshirt sophomore guard KK Houser leads all scorers with 14 points, and redshirt junior forward Whitney Bays has 12 points.
Junior forward Becca Mills, who has struggled with foul trouble this season, picked up two fouls within the first two minutes of the game and was benched early for Jasmine Hines.
Hines established herself in the post early and scored four points to keep MSU afloat. MSU was 3-11 from the field seven minutes into the game, with Hines being the only Spartan to find success on the offensive side. The Spartans trailed Purdue 16-9 with under 13 minutes left.
MSU began forcing turnovers and finding transition opportunities, and it translated into success on offense. On one play, Jankoska passed it from halfcourt to Bell under the rim, who laid it in. Redshirt freshman guard Branndais Agee spun to the rim on another play, giving MSU a 19-18 lead with under 10 minutes to play.
Purdue scored the next couple buckets, but Jankoska launched a deep three to tie the game at 22. Pickrel got back on defense and drew a charge a shot clock later, bringing both teams into the second media timeout.
Junior guard Kiana Johnson, who came off the bench once again, entered the score book with under seven minutes left, laying it in to give MSU a 26-24 lead.
Houser was big for Purdue in the first half, and her deep, point-blank 3 with 5:23 on the clock gave Purdue a 29-28 lead.
Bell drained a corner three with under two minutes left to give MSU its biggest lead of the game, 37-32.
As time expired, Houser nailed a 3 at the buzzer to trim MSU’s lead to 39-38 entering halftime.
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