Purdue rallied from a 15 point deficit in the quarterfinals of the Big Ten Tournament to get a sweet revenge victory over IU on Friday. At one point early in the 3rd quarter, Purdue was down by 17 and looking very much down for the count. However, Coach Versyp fired up the troops at halftime and made a key defensive adjustment to switch the one through four positions to disrupt IU’s offense, and the team executed this defensive adjustment.
In addition, Purdue got their offense going, led by a phenomenal performance from Dominique Oden along with great second half shooting by Ashley Morrissette. Purdue held IU to 2 of 17 shooting in the 3rd quarter to narrow the gap to 2 points after 3 quarters. It was more heroics from Oden in the 4th quarter, including a dead eye three pointer that put Purdue up 59-55 late in the game. The Boilers sunk their free throws down the stretch to seal one of the biggest come from behind victories in recent tournament history. The Boilers ended up outscoring the Hoosiers 42-21 in the second half.
Next up is a tall order in the tournament semifinals to try and upset the Ohio State Buckeyes who are on an 11-game winning streak and clicking on all cylinders, having trounced a resurgent Northwestern team in the quarterfinals and having scored 99 points in the process. Purdue at least has a chance, but the team will have to play all 4 quarters on a roll and use defense to limit the Buckeyes. It is probably too tall of an order unless Kelsey Mitchell goes on a long cold spell, but at least Purdue is into the semifinals in Indy.
Since IU has been considered on the bubble of qualifying for the NCAA tournament, one must wonder if this Purdue win over IU would be enough. A 6-game winning streak and victory over a team Bracketology says is in should count for something, but the NCAA has their methods. Regardless, I am proud of our Boiler team for such a gut check win over IU, and the smell of revenge for the loss during the regular season is still sweet.