After winning three in a row, Purdue has fallen for a third straight game as the Boilers dropped their battle against a first place Iowa team by a score of 83-71.
Purdue got out to a hot start thanks to Cassidy Hardin who hit three straight shots from behind the arc and the Boilers got out to an 11-4 lead. Iowa then got back into the game by shooting well and playing great defense on the Boilermakers and cut the lead to four after the first quarter. In the second quarter, Iowa really turned on the offensive firepower, outscoring Purdue 25-15 to take a 6 point lead heading into the break.
Led by Makenzie Meyer, the Hawkeyes started to get hot once again in the third quarter to help Iowa get out to a 15 point lead with 4:26 left. The game looked to be getting out of hand, but Dominique Oden and Kayana Traylor started to get going and led a comeback bid for Sharon Versyp late in the third quarter and early in the fourth.
After getting hot in the third, the Boilermakers just could not get anything going to counter the Hawkeyes in the final quarter as they were outscored 20-14. Iowa
The Boilermakers got great games from two slightly unlikely prospects as Kayana Traylor and Jenelle Grant both played extremely well today. Traylor put up a season high 21 on 6-8 shooting from the floor in her best game of the season. Grant scored 12 points on perfect 5-5 shooting from the field which includes two makes from deep.
The Big 3 for Purdue struggled mightily today as the trio of Ae’Rianna Harris, Karissa McLaughlin and Dominique Oden combined to shoot just 8-33 from the floor. It is very uncharacteristic that all three girls have a tough game as they are all so skilled. This game was an outlier for what has been a very solid season for all three of them and they will look to get back to their great play going forward.
Fatou Digne has had two back to back great games as she scored 7 points and grabbed a game and season high 14 rebounds for the Boilers. She has played more minutes in the last couple of games most likely as a result of Rickie Woltman being out for her third straight game for Purdue.
Iowa, who has scored the ball at will all season continued their outstanding offensive game today as they shot 58% from the field, and at a point in the third quarter they were hitting at a 70% clip. The Hawkeyes had three players score 20+ points today as Makenzie Meyer, Kathleen Doyle and Monika Czinano combined for 64 points on 27-40 shooting. Their hot shooting was the reason that the Boilermakers fell today.
With the loss, Purdue has now fallen to 15-10 on the season and a 6-7 record during Big Ten play. The Boilers, who are on the bubble, really could have used a win this week as they played three teams who are firmly in the NCAA Tournament field. Their next three games will be against teams in the bottom fourth of the conference in Wisconsin, Illinois and Michigan State, all of which Purdue has wins over this season already. Sharon Versyp needs three straight wins if the team is to feel comfortable about their chances. The Boilermakers will be in action next in Madison against Wisconsin on Thursday at 8:00pm.