"I don't think she (Houser) realizes it, but she is such a huge part of why we are successful" said Purdue head coach Sharon Versyp.
Houser needed to be that special because Purdue was out of sync throughout most of the first half, shooting only 22 percent from the field. Give credit to Versyp, who gave the team a strong game plan in the second half. With the score tied at 26 all after the first half, Purdue scored nine straight point to start the second half and took a 35-26 lead.
Ball State was not going to go down quietly, hanging a 7-0 run by the Cardinals trimmed Purdue's lead down 56-50.
When Purdue needed a big play late, Houser was there to make it. She threw a perfect bounce pass to junior forward Whitney Bays, the Maryland transfer making her Purdue debut, and she finished with a three-point play to seal the game.
What keep Purdue in the game in the first half was its defense and free throws. The Boilermakers were all over Ball State, forcing it into 16 first-half turnovers. Purdue just suffocated the Cardinals into contested shots every time they tried to score. Sophomore guard April Wilson always brings intensity to the defensive side of the game.
"Anytime I look at April Wilson on the court, she makes me want to play so much harder, especially on defense" said Houser.
Also, shooting a perfect 8-of-8 in the first half from the free throw line (which ended up being a 17-17 at the end of the game) helped keep the score knotted at halftime. In the end, it paved the way to a win.
Versyp said how vital free throw shooting is with the new rule changes: "With the type of game we are now playing with all the fouls, everybody has to step up and that is what one us the game"
The other big story from the game was senior guard Courtney Moses posting zero points in the whole game. Yes, that wasn't a typo, the senior, who scored 30 points in their exhibition game a week earlier just couldn't quite find the basket in this game.
Moses did have an impact on the game with four rebounds and a pair of steals. Everybody has bad shooting day and her teammates were there to pick up the slack.
The Boilermakers only have a few days too figure things out offensively with a road game at IUPUI looming on Wednesday.
Follow on Twitter: @DNelsonFOX