The Herald Bulletin

Morning Update

Sports

March 24, 2013

Purdue women beat Liberty 77-43 in NCAA 1st round

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Sam Ostarello heard all the talk for the past week about how the Liberty Lady Flames rebound better than anyone in the country. Then the Purdue senior went out and showed she’s pretty good at hitting the boards herself.

Ostarello scored 10 points and grabbed 17 rebounds as fourth-seeded Purdue routed Liberty 77-43 Sunday in the opening round of the NCAA tournament.

“I wanted her to wear a Liberty jersey yesterday, so she just sort of proved me right,” Liberty coach Carey Green said.

The Boilermakers (25-8) improved to 19-1 in the first round with their 16th straight victory to open the tournament. They will play No. 5 seed Louisville or 12th-seeded Middle Tennessee in the second round Tuesday night in the Oklahoma City Regional.

No. 13-seeded Liberty (27-7) hadn’t played a Big Ten team since 2005 when the Lady Flames beat Penn State for their first NCAA tournament win. Liberty had the nation’s best rebounding margin with a 17.5 edge per game, but couldn’t beat Purdue on the boards in ending a 14-game winning streak.

Courtney Moses scored 21 points, going 5 of 8 from 3-point range for Purdue. KK Houser added 15 points. Ostarello came in leading the Big Ten with 9.9 rebounds per game and set the tone as Purdue had a 40-38 edge on the boards.

“I was just really focused on that assignment,” Ostarello said. “They’re the top rebounding team in the nation by margin, and they get a lot of their points on second-chance opportunities, which is my defensive rebounds. So I just needed to go in there and every board was going to be mine. And if not, my teammates were going to clean it up.”

Devon Brown led Liberty with 21 points.

Purdue was up 33-17 at halftime and by 35 late in the game as the Boilermakers won their fifth straight. They had this game so in control that 12 Boilermakers played. Purdue’s reserves outscored Liberty 28-8.

“Our defense was the key to set the tone for us to be able to get up and down and run,” Purdue coach Sharon Versyp said. “And for us to be able to have our bench come in and score 28 points I think was very big for us.”

The Boilermakers, who dominated on the way to their second straight Big Ten tournament title, are among the best shooters in the nation. Liberty ranked seventh nationally in holding opponents to 33 percent shooting, and the Lady Flames had not allowed a team to hit 50 percent or better since a 92-60 loss at Baylor on Nov. 23, a run of 28 games.

Purdue ended that streak too, shooting exactly 50 percent (26 of 52). Liberty had a 13-7 edge on offensive rebounds but turned that into only six second-chance points. Moses credited Ostarello with getting Purdue’s offense going.

“Before you can run, you have to first rebound, so Sam’s rebounds were key,” Moses said. “She was getting it out, kicking it, and when we run, we have fun.”

The Lady Flames shot a season-low 26.3 percent (15 of 57). One post shot hit the bottom of the backboard, with another a 2-foot airball.

“That was nervousness or not really positioning yourself offensively to take good shots, so we were taking those poor shots, which will in turn give them opportunities to get a defensive rebound and run out,” Green said. “That’s exactly what happened.”

Liberty’s size advantage, with four players 6-foot-2 or taller, just didn’t matter against the faster Boilermakers, who pushed the tempo from the opening tip.

1
Text Only
Sports
  • Elwood, Liberty Christian advance in county softball tournament The 2014 Madison County Softball tournament got off to a wild start at Liberty Christian on Wednesday night as Elwood and the host Liberty Christian Lions advanced with victories.

    April 17, 2014

  • SPT - HB0417 - Nick Muller - 05 Bulldogs, Indians impress in openers Lapel and Anderson have very different histories in the Nick Muller Memorial Baseball Tournament.

    April 16, 2014 5 Photos

  • SPT - HB0417 - Pendleton v Mad Grant 2 Eagles, Arabians move to second round Frankton got off to an uneven start, falling behind 4-3 and 6-4, but rallied for a 14-6 triumph over Alexandria in the first round of the Madison County Softball Tournament here Wednesday. In the second contest, Pendleton Heights topped Madison-Grant 2-1 in a game where both runs and hits were at a premium.

    April 16, 2014 3 Photos

  • Rick Bramwell: Improving weather should aid morels When I looked at my wilted daffodils Tuesday morning, I knew this would be a setback for morels. The long-range forecast through April 29 calls for near normal temperatures and above normal precipitation. This is good news for the blacks and grays.

    April 16, 2014

  • SPL - PT041014 - Ken de la Bastide column - Ken sig Ken de la Bastide: Hunter-Reay's blunder proves costly A lack of patience cost Ryan Hunter-Reay and teammate James Hinchcliffe a chance at victory last weekend in the Verizon IndyCar Series race at Long Beach.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPT - HB0416 - tennis file - 14 Many girls tennis teams return top talent With spring sports getting off to a good start thanks to some spring-like weather last week, local girls tennis teams are taking to the court.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Wild week will get later start The busiest week on Madison County's high school sports calendar is going to start a day later than expected.

    April 14, 2014

  • Familiar trio leads boys track teams Much like in years past, Anderson, Lapel and Pendleton Heights have assembled the largest number of track athletes of the area’s 11 high schools. And, while the remaining teams may struggle to compete from a team standpoint, they will send capable athletes to the line to challenge in individual events.

    April 14, 2014

  • New roles, same goals for Arabians

    Perhaps the most remarkable fact about the first 13 years of the Nick Muller Memorial Baseball Tournament is that no team has repeated as champion.

    April 14, 2014

  • Track stars prepare for numbers game

    Track is a numbers game, not just with times and distances, but with roster sizes as well. Smaller schools often abandon the philosophy of competing for team titles when running against larger schools with nearly double the number of athletes. Instea

    April 14, 2014