Purdue returned following a week-long break to earn an 80-70 win over Miami (OH) inside Mackey Arena on Sunday.
It wasn’t the prettiest win by any means, but the Boilermakers were able to get the job done against a lower-level team at home.
Purdue had many opportunities early on to put the Redhawks away, but couldn’t put together runs as consistently as they should have. The Boilermakers struggled mightily during a back and forth first half, shooting just 2-14 from three-point range. We have seen this many times already this season, when Purdue isn’t hitting their three-point shots they are extremely vulnerable.
Despite the poor shooting from deep, the Boilermakers locked up Miami in the second quarter allowing just 10 points to hold an 11 point lead at halftime. Purdue was gifted with a poor offensive team today, as they could have gotten blown out if this were a fellow Big Ten squad.
The second half saw the roles flip for the most part, with Miami making up ground in the third quarter. The Boilermakers looked like they were going to let this one slip away when Miami cut the lead to 57-58 at the 8:24 mark of the fourth quarter. From that point on, Purdue got things going offensively and was able to put the pressure on to sneak out of Mackey with a win.
Katie Gearlds did get some solid performances all around this afternoon in the midst of an odd game. Cassidy Hardin and Abbey Ellis both had 15 points apiece to lead the way for the Boilermakers. The duo combined for an average shooting output of 10-24 on-field goals, but Ellis added in 4 rebounds and 3 assists on her end.
With Madison Layden struggling with her shot, Purdue will need to lean on both of these girls to be the go-to options offensively.
Jeanae Terry put on another tremendous showcase this afternoon as well. She posted a triple-double with 11 points, 12 rebounds, and 10 assists, which has become the type of performance this team expects out of her. Her triple-double was the third in Purdue history as well.
After a 100+ point outburst in their last game, this matchup was a bit of a letdown as Purdue should’ve handled Miami with ease. As we will continue to say throughout the season, this turnaround is a process and will have highlight moments and poor performances as well. At the end of the day, a win is a win, so this team will take this and move on.
With today’s win, Purdue now moves to 8-4 on the season. They have one last non-conference game on the books against North Alabama before starting the grueling Big Ten schedule on December 30th. The Boilermakers will host North Alabama on Tuesday at 11:00 a.m. inside Mackey Arena on B1G+.