WEST Lafayette, Ind. - Amanda Zahui B. is on a terrific tear.
The 6-5 sophomore center from Stockholm, Sweden, scored 21 points and grabbed 19 rebounds as the Gophers defeated Purdue 81-68 on Thursday afternoon. She is averaging 21.2 points and 15 rebounds in the four games since star guard Rachel Banham suffered a season-ending knee injury.
Zahui also had five blocks and four assists in 39 minutes to help Minnesota win at Mackey Arena for the first time since Jan. 13, 2005. The Gophers had lost six in a row there.
Three teammates also scored in double figures as the Gophers (13-1, 2-0 Big Ten) extended their winning streak to nine games. Shae Kelley, the 6-1 senior transfer from Old Dominion, scored 22 points, 14 in the second half.
Freshman guard Carlie Wagner had 16 points and season highs of eight assists and six rebounds. And junior guard Shayne Mullaney added 15 points, making all 12 of her free throws.
Purdue (8-5, 1-1) had won five in a row.
The Gophers dominated inside, outscoring Purdue 48-24 in the paint and outrebounding the Boilermakers 42-33.
“We didn’t play much defense today,” Boilermakers coach Sharon Versyp said. “… And they just destroyed us on transition defense and killed us in the post.”
Minnesota also was much more efficient shooting three-pointers, going 5-for-10 while the home team was 5-for-21. Whitney Bays led Purdue with 17 points and 10 rebounds. Ashley Morrissette, who made four three-pointers, had 15 points for the Boilermakers.
The Gophers led 34-33 at halftime; two free throws with 34 seconds left by Mullaney capped an 11-4 run.
In the second half, Minnesota led by as many as 12 points at 64-52 with just over seven minutes to play.
The Boilermakers got within 70-63 with 2:55 left, but Mullaney sparked a closing 11-5 run with eight free throws as the Gophers pulled away.