Purdue dropped a big rivalry game with Big Ten conference implications against the Indiana Hoosiers by a score of 66-54 on Monday.
Both teams came out not being able to get much going as the Boilermakers mustered just 10 points in the first quarter. The Hoosiers, who were up 14-10 near the end of the first stanza then went on a 14-4 run to pull ahead by 14 midway through the second quarter. Although Dominique Oden played well, Indiana held off the Boilermaker push and took a 13 point lead into halftime. The duo of guards Grace Berger and Ali Patberg burned Purdue in the first half combining for 19 points on 8-14 shooting.
The third quarter was a completely different story as both squads came out on fire and traded buckets for most of the third quarter. Purdue crept back into the game led by Oden and McLaughlin combined with hard nose defense to grind away at the lead and cut it to 6 after three quarters at 42-48.
Indiana got back to their success in the first half in the fourth as they went on a 9-3 run to pull ahead by 12 with just 2:50 left in the game. The lead proved to be enough as the Hoosiers milked the clock and got late shot clock scores to yank the game out of the Boilermakers reach. Ali Patberg and Jaelynn Penn proved to be huge down the stretch to secure the win.
Dominique Oden continued her outstanding play dropping 24 points on 10-19 shooting from the floor. She has been dominating the last 4 games in particular for the Boilermakers and has turned into a go to scorer for Sharon Versyp.
Karissa McLaughlin and Ae’Rianna Harris did not have their best games in terms of shooting but they still managed to put up a combined 25 points. McLaughlin showed great leadership and energy once again in route to Purdue making their way back into the game. Harris added 7 rebounds and worked nonstop on defense serving as the main rim protector.
This team never quits on a game no matter the score and that is a good characteristic to have, but Dominique Oden and the crew must start out stronger to put themselves in position to win. The games when they have done this have turned out well for the Boilermakers, but when they end the first quarter in a hole, it’s another story.
Sharon Versyp and the team have a busy week ahead as they go to Ann Arbor on Thursday before coming back to Mackey to host Iowa who is tied for first place in the conference. Michigan is sitting at 15-7 overall and 5-5 in the Big Ten after knocking off Iowa on Sunday. As for the Boilermakers, they fall to 15-8 on the season and 6-5 in conference and this two game stretch is pivotal for Purdue as they will be able to use it to pad their NCAA Tournament resume.