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Friday, Feb. 23
The Indiana Daily Student


Purdue All-American battles concussion

Boilermaker standout recovers from injury, leads team to win

Purdue senior small forward Katie Douglas' head was probably still spinning Sunday when her team played IU.\nJust three days removed from a mild concussion suffered during her team's win against Iowa, Douglas was groggy, dizzy and hurting when she took the Assembly Hall floor.\n"It was a collaboration between the doctors and myself -- the decision to play today," Douglas said. "I had a little bit of a headache and still was feeling dizzy yesterday. But I got a good night's rest finally (Saturday) night and felt able to play."\n"I will say I didn't feel great out there, though," she said.\nBut watching her control the floor, directing her team and attracting the attention of everyone else, Douglas looked like the All-American she is, despite the cobwebs still rattling in her head.\n"Katie hasn't practiced for two days," Purdue coach Kristy Curry said. "I was really concerned about her being a step off or a shot off, but she showed a lot of heart and soul and character and really stepped it up. \n"Her presence makes us a better team, there's not a question about that."\nDouglas might have been dwarfed on the scoreboard by freshman Shalicia Hurns' 19-point performance, but the Indianapolis native dominated the court.\nHere is just some of the things the box score didn't show on Douglas' performance:\n• With both teams fumbling around in the opening minutes of an intense game, Douglas set the tone for a Boilermaker-dominated first half, calmly sinking a three five and a half minutes into the game. Her three sparked a 31-15 run during the next 14 minutes.\n• When coach Kathi Bennett replaced senior guard Tara Jones, who was guarding Douglas, with a much smaller Anna Waugh, Douglas immediately went down into the paint and used her size to overpower Waugh.\nSeeing Douglas' smarts, the match-up didn't last long and Bennett was forced out of playing her three, smaller guards (Waugh, junior Heather Cassady and senior Rainey Alting).\n• As IU made a run at the 22-point Boilermaker lead, Douglas, at 6-1, took over the point guard responsibilities to try and settle the Purdue offense.\n• With Purdue clinging to a slim six-point lead, 58-52, Douglas wisely stopped her teammates from a quick offensive set after a steal by Purdue junior guard Kelly Komara. Instead, Douglas ran a deliberate offensive set at the point leading to a an easy lay-in by Komara to pump the lead to eight points with three minutes left.\nAnd that wasn't all.\nHurns, who saw more playing time Sunday because of the season-ending injury to back-up center Mary Jo Noon, credits much of her outburst to the floor leadership Douglas brings, even with the effects of a mild concussion.\n"She's such a leader for us," Hurns said. "She makes the difference. She doesn't even have to say anything most of the time. She just gives us that look and we know what she wants us to do."\nDouglas played 36 minutes Sunday, the most of any Purdue player after being a game-time decision. Only Cassady, who was on the court the entire game, played more. Along with 13 points, she finished with five rebounds and three steals, numbers around her averages.\nDespite Douglas' intangible effect, Bennett said she was happy how the team defended her. Douglas was held scoreless in the second half after shooting 4-for-4 in the first 20 minutes.\n"She's tough to handle, but I thought we did a pretty good job on her tonight," Bennett said.\nWhat Douglas did do, after thoughts she wouldn't play, was enough for Purdue to remain undefeated in the Big Ten.

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