Purdue snapped their four game losing streak Thursday night in a thriller over last place Wisconsin by a score of 56-55.
On the heels of a tough battle in which Purdue played fairly well against a good Iowa team, it was important for the Boilermakers to come out and make a statement against a formerly 3-8 Wisconsin squad. Although they won, this was not the performance they had in mind.
Sara Stapleton started the scoring for Wisconsin, then Purdue caught fire and sprinted out on a 14-0 run to create a large deficit for the Badgers. The scoring was dispersed out with 5 players chipping in to mount the lead, then Wisconsin rallied back with an 11-1 run themselves to get back in the ball game.
It was largely a back and forth battle between the two struggling Big Ten squads for the majority of the game after that. Wisconsin’s largest lead came at 3:46 in the third quarter as they pushed out to an 8 point advantage before Purdue stormed back with an 8-1 run to followed by a Wisconsin bucket heading into the fourth quarter.
Imani Lewis knotted up the score at 55 with just 5 seconds remaining leaving Purdue with the final chance at a win. Fatou Diagne saved the day for Purdue (a day after her birthday no less) as she secured an offensive rebound while being fouled with two second left and sunk the first free throw to ice the win after a Karissa McLaughlin miss.
Diagne got her second straight double-double with 11 points and 12 rebounds, after posting her first last game against Iowa. Fatou played extremly well down the stretch last year, and has appeared to find her footing 12 games into this season.
Brooke Moore also had a nice bounce back game after some struggles during the last handful of outings. She scored 12 points off the bench and hit three times from downtown.
There will be a lot to work on for Sharon Versyp and the girls after struggling against the last place Wisconsin Badgers, but a win is a win.
Purdue moves to 6-6 on the season and will now take on their biggest test of the season in #11 ranked Michigan on the road. This is an extremely tough matchup for the Boilermakers who will have to be on their “A-Game” if they don’t want to lose by 40. The game is scheduled for January 24th at 1:00 pm.