Purdue women’s basketball continues their winning ways in the home opener, defeating the Western Michigan Broncos by a score of 70-62.
Much like the first game of the season, the Boilermakers got off to a hot start thanks to the sharpshooting of senior Cassidy Hardin. It was the team leaders who mainly contributed for almost all of the game, with little of the supporting cast having much of an offensive output today.
Purdue was able to grow their lead all the way to 23 by the time the third quarter rolled around. Western Michigan was able to claw their way back into the game in the fourth quarter as they cut the Boilermakers lead to just 9 points and looked to be making things much more interesting. Jeanae Terry then picked up a couple of much-needed buckets to fend off the Broncos and keep Purdue out of striking distance.
Purdue was able to respond to whatever plays Western Michigan made and coasted to a comfortable 8 point win.
As I mentioned before, this was a game dominated by Purdue’s main contributors. The quartet of Ellis, Layden, Kyle, and Hardin combined for an eye-popping 60 of Purdue’s 70 total points.
It is good to have those ladies play consistently, but the role players for Katie Gearlds are going to have to step up. Later in the game when teams make adjustments, players like Jayla Smith, Brooke Moore, and the company will have to get things going offensively to take the pressure off the main scorers.
Madison Layden took another step forward tonight and played possibly her best overall game as a Boilermaker. The sophomore leader finished with 20 points, 8 rebounds, and 3 assists. She also moved past her head coach for second in program history with 23 consecutive games with a three-point field goal.
Sophomore center Ra Shaya Kyle also had a breakout game, scoring 19 points on a clean 9-13 shooting performance and added 8 rebounds.
After a down junior season, Cassidy Hardin has been the most improved Boilermaker by far. She put up 14 points on 5-11 shooting, including four three-point field goals. Her output will be key for Purdue this season to spread the floor and hit shots alongside Madison Layden.
Another performance that could get overlooked was the Aussie transfer, Abbey Ellis. Ellis led the team in scoring in the season opener but had a tough shooting night going 3-9 for just 7 points. More impressively, Ellis finished with a team-high 11 assists and 5 steals this afternoon. She has been an instant impact transfer for the Boilermakers and can do a little bit of everything for Katie Gearlds.
The rest of the team combined for just 8 points total on a brutal 4-15 shooting performance, yet the Boilermakers shot 45% overall as a team. They did improve in a few key areas since their opening game on Wednesday, cutting their turnovers down from 25 to 14 today. The Boilermakers were also able to stay out of foul trouble for the most part after a really tough time with fouls in their last contest as well.
This team showed improvement and a different level of scoring at points in this game but also showed some weaknesses which is understandable given all of the circumstances leading into the year.
Purdue will look to build off on their 2-0 start against Illinois State on Wednesday evening in Normal, Illinois.