If you can figure out this year’s Purdue women’s basketball team, be my guest. The ladies have been both confusing and frustrating for most of the season, but that is the hallmark of a young team. Andreona Keys is the lone senior on this year’s team. most of the roster is made up of freshmen and sophomores, with sophomores Dominique Oden, Ae’Rianna Harris, and Lamina Cooper doing a ton of work. Freshman Karissa McLaughlin has also played quite a bit as a starter.
Despite some bad home losses to ball State and Ohio the ladies are still 3-2 against top 50 teams in the RPI. The season looked doomed on January 6th when they lost at Indiana 72-54. The Hoosiers are 9-12 overall and 2-6 in the conference. Since then, Purdue has been on fire.
The Boilers responded with wins over ranked teams in Rutgers (47-33) and Iowa (76-70) to not only get back in the NCAA hunt, but the Big Ten hunt. The Rutgers win avenged a conference opening loss in Piscataway. On Thursday they made it three straight with a 63-60 win over Northwestern.
Keys, Harris, and Oden are all averaging more than 10 points per game. The Boilers trailer Ohio State and Maryland by a game in the loss column, as Purdue is 13-7 overall and 4-2 in the conference. They’re in the middle of a very tough stretch of play, however. Purdue goes to Nebraska Wednesday night. They have tough road games on February 15th and 18th at Maryland and Ohio state, the two favorites to win the league.
There is a legitimate chance to return tot he NCAA Tournament, however. Purdue has a strong RPI at 47 and is playing some of its basketball of the season.