In a battle of two of the best defensive team in the Big Ten, the Boilermakers suffered their first home loss of the season to Rutgers by a score of 59-53.
The Scarlet Knights led from wire to wire as they got off to a hot start that saw them take a 24-9 lead after the first quarter. The Boilers chipped away at the lead over the course of the game and tied it up at 47 with 4:44 to go in the fourth quarter. They were ultimately unsuccessful in their comeback bid after Rutgers hit some clutch shots to pull ahead late and put the game out of reach.
The big difference in the game was the rebounding of Rutgers as they held a 35-28 advantage on the glass that led to many second chance opportunities. Purdue was also unable to slow down the Big Ten’s leading scorer Arella Guirantes, who dropped 22 points on 8-13 shooting and hit all 4 of her three point attempts.
Neither team shot particularly well as the Boilers were held to 39% (19-48) shooting from the field and 31% (6-19) from three. Rutgers shot 40% (22-55) from the field including 45% (5-11) from three point range.
Karissa McLaughlin lead the team in scoring with 16 points on 6-16 shooting including 3-12 from behind the arc and added 3 rebounds and 5 assists. She struggled from three point range today but showed tremendous leadership and was instrumental in bringing the Boilers back into the game with her all around play.
After starting slow in the first half, both Ae’Rianna Harris and Dominique Oden came on in the second half rally. Harris scored 9 points on 4-8 shooting and added 7 boards, while Oden dropped 13 points on 5-9 shooting, grabbing 7 rebounds and dishing out 4 assists. Cassidy Hardin also hit two huge threes in the fourth quarter, the second of which tied the game at 51 with just 1:17 left in the game.
Tamara Farquhar went down in the second quarter with what appeared to be a knee injury while going for a rebound. It is unclear exactly what the injury was but there should be news soon on the severity of it. If she were to be out an extended period of time or the whole season it would be a big blow for the Boilermakers as she is averaging 7.8 points and 7.9 rebounds per game and is a leader for the team. Wishing a speedy recovery to Tamara.
With the loss today Purdue falls to 11-4 overall and 2-1 in the Big Ten, tied for third place with Nebraska, Rutgers and Michigan at the moment. They will look the rebound from this loss on Thursday, January 9th as they take on 14th ranked Indiana at Assembly Hall. The Hoosiers are 12-2 overall and are in first place in the Big Ten with a 2-0 record and will host Illinois tomorrow before the Boilers come to town Thursday.