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WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (AP) - Akron thought it had all the pieces in place to compete with Purdue on Saturday.
They never had a chance.
Whitney Bays had 20 points and 13 rebounds Saturday, Courtney Moses tied the school’s career record for 3-pointers and the fourth-seeded Boilermakers rolled into the second round of the NCAA women’s tournament with an emphatic 84-55 rout over usually high-scoring Akron.
“They are really long and lengthy and they put their biggest girl in front of Hanna (Lubergh),” Zips point guard Kacie Cassell said. “They knew our offense. They stopped it and we just couldn’t get rebounds and couldn’t get second-chance opportunities.”
Nothing went right for the Zips (23-10) in their first tourney appearance.
The Mid-American Conference champs had won 16 of their last 17 games, were ranked ninth in the nation in scoring and had three 1,000-point scorers on the court.
Rachel Tecca, the MAC tourney MVP, finished with 18 points and two rebounds. Lubergh, the MAC scoring champion at 22.7 points, scored nine and was just 3 of 19 from the field. The Zips nearly matched a season-low with a 31.3 percent shooting performance and did finish with their lowest point total of the season.
Tecca, who finished her career No. 1 on Akron’s scoring list 2,317 points, limped off the court at one point after getting cut from a knee brace.
It was that kind of day.
“They are more physical, taller and I just think we struggled with that,” she said.
For the Boilermakers (22-8), it was a monumental day.
Versyp collected her 300th career win but refused to celebrate.
Moses tied Katie Gearlds’ career mark by making her first two 3-pointers of the game, then missed her last five. The senior guard now has 238 and will get another chance to break the record in front of her home fans Monday night.
The victory margin was Purdue’s fifth-most lopsided win in NCAA tourney history and their 50 rebounds were the second-most in tourney play.
Purdue is now 20-1 in first-round games, 20-7 in NCAA play on their home court and head into Monday night’s showdown with fifth-seeded Oklahoma State with 11 wins in 14 games. The Cowgirls advanced by holding on for a 61-60 victory over Atlantic Sun champion Florida Gulf Coast, the No. 12 seed in the Notre Dame Regional.
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