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Purdue Women Fall Just Short of Knocking off Minnesota

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Purdue came back from 18 points down to take the lead but didn't have enough at the end to get past the Gophers.

Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

The Lady Boilermakers (11-20, 3-15) battled hard and suffered a heartbreaking loss to Minnesota 82-78. Seniors Whitney Bays and Liza Clemons led the Boilers in their last game combining for 47 points.

After getting down 18 points in the first half Purdue was able to mount a comeback in the second half. Whitney Bays knocked down a jumper with 7:35 left in the second half to give Purdue their first lead since the start of the game, 59-58. The teams then traded baskets and Purdue was back on top. Bridget Perry later extended Purdue's lead to three. Amanda Zahui B. had a chance to tie the game but she failed to convert a three-point play. Purdue got two free throws from Andreonna Keys to go back up three. Minnesota went down and scored and after Purdue came up empty they took the lead back for good on Shayne Mullaney's triple. Minnesota went on to hit 15-18 free throws to seal the win; UM's last field goal came with 4:00 left.

Liza Clemons scored on the ensuing possession but then fouled out at the other end with 2:52 left. Zahui B. hit the free throws and Minnesota was back up two. Minnesota's margin grew to as many as six but Purdue was able to cut into it. Keys struck with a three with 32 seconds left to cut the margin to three, 78-75. Kayla Hirt  for UM went to the line and hit two free throws. Ashley Morrissette was fouled while attempting a three then hit all three free throws to draw within two. Again Hirt hit two free throws to extend Minnesota's lead with 15 seconds left. Ashley Morrissette missed a three with six seconds left ending Purdue's chances.

Purdue scored first but after missing their first shot attempt Minnesota made seven consecutive baskets to take the lead and go up 16-8. It only got worse for the Boilers. The Gophers went on a 12-0 run to gain a 28-10 advantage. The Boilers though were able to right the ship and responded with an 11 point run. Purdue had trouble sustaining their momentum after the run and at the half they were down 45-32.

Purdue started the second half strong cutting the margin to four and forcing Minnesota to call a timeout. From then the teams traded scores until Liza Clemons hit two free throws to cut Minnesota's lead to one.

Whitney Bays scored a career high 28 points before fouling out in her final game in a Purdue jersey. She also had six rebounds. Liza Clemons registered 19 points, eight rebounds, and four blocks. Ashley Morrissette tallied 15 points, seven assists, two blocks, and two steals. April Wilson only scored four points but she dished 12 assists.

Shae Kelley led Minnesota with 26 points. Amanda Zahui B. scored 21 points and pulled down 11 rebounds. Shayne Mullaney scored 19 points to go with nine assists.

#6 Minnesota advanced to play #3 Ohio State.