After losing four of their last five, Purdue got back to their winning ways as they picked up a huge win over the Cornhuskers in Lincoln by a score of 76-68.
Sharon Versyp made a lineup change tonight starting Cassidy Hardin and Fatou Diagne in place of Kayana Traylor and Ae’Rianna Harris. It was an unexpected move by Versyp as Harris has been one of the most consistent players for her but it ended up working out well as Ae’Rianna had a monster game off the bench.
The Boilermakers started off hot from the field scoring 26 points in the first quarter in what seemed to be a blowout win. Nebraska then stormed back over the course of the next three quarters and even took the lead with 5:48 left in the game. Led by Ae’Rianna Harris, the Boilers made some clutch shots to pull ahead and steal a win on the road.
Purdue shot lights out shooting 47% from the floor, 40% from behind the arc and 12-14 from the free throw stripe. Nebraska held their own tonight going 24-60 from the field, 6-20 from three and 14-20 from the line but were just outworked on the offensive end of the court.
Purdue’s “Big 3” all had outstanding performances to guide the Boilers to the win. Ae’Rianna Harris led the way and dominated tonight scoring 25 points on 10-12 from the field, adding 9 boards and swatting three shots. Harris tied the record of Joe Barry Carroll for the most blocked shots for both Purdue men or women’s history after becoming the leader in rebounds in women’s basketball history in her last outing. She will go down as one of the best Purdue players of all time with the records she has set.
Karissa McLaughlin and Dominique Oden were also very solid in the win, with McLaughlin scoring 19 points on 5-11 shooting including three three’s. Oden put up 14 points on 7-15 shooting, grabbed 7 rebounds and dished out 5 assists.
This game seemed like a must win for Purdue to keep their NCAA Tournament hopes alive. With the win Purdue moves to 13-7 overall and 4-4 during Big Ten play and will look to start another win streak when they take on Penn State at home on Sunday. The team is now just 2.5 games back from first place and have ample opportunities to make that ground up. The Nittany Lions are in the cellar of the conference so McLaughlin and the crew should have no problem taking care of business at home.