After back-to-back wins for Purdue and Sharon Versyp, Purdue fell at the hands of last season’s co-Big Ten champions, Northwestern by a score of 70-54.
Clearly overmatched by the very talented Wildcats, Purdue kept the game close throughout the first half until the 5:20 mark of the second quarter when Northwestern was able to find their groove offensively and go on a 17-5 run into the first few minutes of the third quarter.
Northwestern’s Veronica Burton had herself a night scoring a career high 27 points on 9-17 shooting from the field. The Boilermakers did hold Lindsey Pulliam in check for the most part as she struggled to the tune of a 3-16 shooting performance, but her teammates were able to pick up the slack.
Joe Mckeown’s squad finished with four out of five starters in double figures but did not have the best night offensively as the score might suggest. Purdue actually shot better from the field, out-rebounded the Wildcats and matched their assist numbers.
As it has been all season for Purdue, turnovers proved to be a massive difference in this ball game. The Boilermakers coughed it up an eye opening 27 times which accounted for their opposition to score 29 points off of those turnovers. If Sharon Verysp’s team wants to have success this season, this is far and away the biggest weak spot that they need to clean up.
Senior Fatou Diagne led the Boilermakers in scoring and rebounding with a line of 13 points on 5-7 shooting and 9 boards. This was about as much success as Purdue would have tonight.
After two consecutive 20 point games, Brooke Moore scored just 2 tonight. Another team leader, Tamara Farquhar, finished with 7 points but also picking up 5 fouls in the process which was a common theme in the first have as the Boilermakers had 5 players pick up two or more fouls in the first half.
This team just did not perform tonight, there really isn’t any way else to put it. If you turn the basketball over 27 times and play lackadaisical at time, then you do not deserve to win, especially against a really good Northwestern team in Big Ten play.
Versyp and the team will need to reset this week during practice and make some major adjustments if they want to be competitive this season. Purdue will return to action this Sunday, December 20th at 2:00pm as they travel to play Penn State.
The Nittany Lions are 3-1 with their only loss coming against #22 ranked Syracuse and will be playing their Big Ten opener when the Boilermakers come to town.