Oklahoma's goal to start the NCAA Tournament strong culminated in the Sooners having a block party at Purdue's expense.
Peyton Little scored 20 points, Maddie Manning added 12 and No. 6 seed Oklahoma blocked 13 shots to shut down 11th-seeded Purdue 61-45 for a first-round victory on Saturday.
The Sooners' double-digit block total set a school record for the NCAA Tournament and was their highest since rejecting 10 against Baylor on Feb. 21, 2009; they fell just two short of matching their 15 blocks against Texas on March 7, 2007. Vionise Pierre-Louis' career-high seven blocks led the way for Oklahoma, while Kaylon Williams (eight points) and Manning had three each.
Making Sooners coach Sherri Coale even happier was that shot-blocking was just one highlight of an Oklahoma defensive effort that also held Purdue to 28 percent shooting.
"They had to make so many concessions because of our size inside, and I think it got them away from the way they like to play," Coale said of its effect on the Boilermakers. "That being said, I think we really defended. We worked very hard on the defensive end."
The Sooners (22-10) were better from the field at 43 percent but improved to 4-0 all-time against the Boilermakers (20-12). Little set the offensive tone by making 7 of 12 from the field including four 3-pointers, while Manning made 5 of 11 with a 3.
"It was really just my teammates finding me," Little said. "Whenever I was open they were able to get me the ball and luckily it fell tonight. So I give all of the credit to them because they were the ones who passed me the ball."
April Wilson had nine points and Ashley Morrissette eight for the Boilermakers, who lost their first opening-round tournament game since 1996. Purdue's lone bright spot was matching the Sooners with 39 rebounds.
Both squads entered with similar strengths in perimeter shooting, rebounding and defense, but Oklahoma's effectiveness in those areas helped the Sooners earn their third NCAA Tournament win over the Boilermakers in the series.
The taller Sooners succeeded quickly in throwing off Purdue's rhythm but disrupting its passing and shooting, a strategy from which the Boilermakers never recovered after a 6-all tie. Shots didn't fall even when they had good looks and Oklahoma was ready at other times to swat seven attempts in the first half alone.
Purdue started 1 of 7 from the field and was just 6 of 33 through two quarters, a struggle that allowed Oklahoma to build the lead to as many as 16 before taking a 28-15 edge into the break.
Purdue didn't get closer than 17 despite a 7-2 third-quarter run as Oklahoma remained strong on both ends of the floor. The Sooners ended up making nearly 38 percent from long range against a Purdue team that led the Big Ten Conference in 3-point defense at 28.5 percent.
"The hardest thing for us is when you shoot so poorly in the first half it's kind of hard to redirect that energy," said Purdue coach Sharon Versyp, whose team finished 4 of 11 from long range. "I thought our second half was better, but just a little too late."
Purdue: Dominique McBryde led the Boilermakers with six rebounds while Wilson, a Louisville native, and Tiara Murphy had five each. ... Tiara Murphy had two 3-pointers for six points.
Oklahoma: Pierre-Louis grabbed eight rebounds for the Sooners, who committed 16 turnovers.
Purdue: Season over.
Oklahoma: Faces UNC Asheville-Kentucky winner on Sunday.