WEST LAFAYETTE -- With their hospitalized coach on their minds, the Hoosiers played a close first half against No. 7 Purdue before their transition and post defense fell apart, allowing the Boilermakers to shoot nearly 62 percent after halftime.\nBecause of the drop off, Purdue conquered the IU women's basketball team for the fourth consecutive time at Mackey Arena, 79-55 in front of 10,373 fans. \nAssociate head coach Trish Betthauser led the Hoosiers as head coach Kathi Bennett remained at Bloomington Hospital Sunday afternoon with a fractured neck vertebra suffered in a car accident Friday morning.\nBetthauser said the team has handled the adversity well, but she wished the Hoosiers (11-13, 5-8 Big Ten) had executed better defense, a fundamental Bennett has cherished.\nIU limited the Boilermakers (20-3, 11-2) to 36-percent shooting in the first half. But the Boilermakers scored 79 points for the game -- nearly 15 points above Big Ten opponents' scoring average of 64.1 points against the Hoosiers. Purdue shot 47 percent for the game. Before the loss, the Hoosiers had held Big Ten foes to a league-best 41 percent.\n"I wish we could have played a little better defensively, because I know that's something Kathi holds dear to her heart," said Betthauser, who has coached with Bennett for six years at Evansville and IU. "I know she would have been stressing that to our players, and we continued to do that this week."\nThe Hoosiers didn't allow Purdue to lead by more than six points until a minute remained in the first half. But then IU's defense collapsed in two areas -- transition defense and keeping Purdue's post players out of the paint -- spurring a 40-31 Purdue halftime lead. The Boilermakers tallied 14 points off fast breaks and 44 points in the paint.\nFoul trouble also crippled the Hoosiers. Center Jill Chapman fouled out with 4:03 left in the game. She tied her season-low for points with four and grabbed two rebounds. Center Jelena Lazic replaced Chapman at 14:31 in the first half. Lazic played seven minutes, picking up three fouls and four points. Forward Allison Skapin also substituted in the post, registering four fouls and five points in 17 minutes.\nPurdue center Mary Jo Noon, meanwhile, had a heyday, racking up 20 points on 7-of-12 shooting from the field and 6 of 8 on foul shots. \n"I'm not sure if there's anyone that can guard Mary Jo," Purdue coach Kristy Curry said. "She's been very successful lately, so we're looking to go inside, and going inside can open things back outside. I thought we did a good job of executing."\nThe Hoosiers' inability to push out the Boilermaker post players aided in Purdue's 28 trips to the foul line. Purdue shot 86 percent on foul shots (24 of 28) compared to the Hoosiers' 44 percent (7 of 16).\nGuard Shereka Wright also bullied the Hoosiers, igniting a 12-6 Purdue run with seven points in the final four minutes of the first half. Wright led the Boilermakers with 21 points -- 17 in the first half.\n"Wright got some looks inside where we were kind of late coming off that back screen on the weak side, and we were a little bit late on the doubles on her," Betthauser said. "We wanted to double her from the start of the game."\nForward Erin McGinnis led the Hoosiers with 15 points (6-of-14 shooting) and six rebounds. Guard Jenny DeMuth followed with 12 points and six rebounds in front of family and friends from her hometown, Highland, Ind.\n"I think we were prepared very well," McGinnis said. "It was an emotional time for the team. We tried to pull together for (Bennett)"
Get stories like this in your inboxSubscribe