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Purdue Falls to #21 Michigan, 72-62

Disappointing home loss due to inconsistent performance

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You would think if Purdue hits 48% from the field, gets 13 steals and 7 blocks, and holds Katelyn Flaherty to 13 points, that the Boilers would have a good chance of a win against the newly ranked Michigan Wolverines. Upon closer look at the box score, however, it can be easily seen why this loss occurred. First and foremost was being badly outrebounded, 38-24. The other reasons are being badly outshot from 3-point land and poor free throw shooting.

The Boilers came out fine at the beginning, going up 12-9. However, the Wolverines went on an 11-0 run and never looked back. Purdue played just good enough to stay within striking distance but never overcoming the deficit the rest of the way. The Boilers got within 1 point down the stretch, but clutch 3 point shooting from super freshman Kysre Gondrezick led ultimately to the 10 point loss. Gondrezick finished with a career high 25 points. Michigan center Hallie Thome contributed 15 points and 8 rebounds. Purdue really had no one to match up with the big, tall center.

Ashley Morrissette had a subpar game, and the only real bright spot on offense was Bridget Perry with 15 points. Dominique Oden drained a couple of threes, and Andreona Keys put in some nifty layups, but other than that, the Boiler offense was inconsistent. Shooting 17% from downtown and 46% from the foul line is not going to get it done against a solid ranked opponent. At times, especially in the 3rd quarter, the Purdue defense rose to the occasion, but for most of the game the defensive effort was pedestrian at best. This is very disappointing as the Boilers normally hang their hat on stingy defense. They made a lot of steals which led to 10 fast break points, but far too often Michigan shooters were left open and they made enough jump shots to seal the deal.

This was an opportunity for a statement game to make the NCAA tournament as a bubble team, but at this point the chances of that are slipping away. Purdue would have to win out in their last 5 conference games and make it into the championship of the Big Ten Tournament to make the big dance, and neither of those things looks in the cards at this point. It may be remotely possible, but is in serious doubt. This would be a huge disappointment especially for seniors Perry and Morrissette, who have given their best this season.