Purdue dropped their Big Ten opener against the No. 18 Ohio State Buckeyes by a score of 70-53 on Sunday afternoon.
This came after a big pair of non-conference wins over Florida State and Georgia Tech that had the Boilermakers flying high. Unfortunately for Purdue, they were unable to replicate that success against the best team they have played to this point.
I will continue to say this with the team Katie Gearlds has this season. Be patient. Yes, Purdue has quite a few good wins already this year, but many of the girls on this team are still developing their skills. This team is undoubtedly going to have performances like this as they are a part of maybe the best conference in the nation.
Playing in the Big Ten is no easy task, but this year is even more difficult with all of the talent across the league.
They wouldn’t beat many teams regardless of their play this afternoon. The Boilermakers struggled all game offensively, shooting just 21-71 from the field including 6-36 from three-point range. Combine that with 16 turnovers, getting out-rebounded 41-36, and being outscored 25-13 in the fourth quarter, it wasn’t surprising these ladies came out of today with a loss.
Madison Layden and Abbey Ellis were the only two Boilermakers to score in double figures today, and as that stat would indicate, did not receive much help from their teammates. Layden had a game-high 13 points on 5-17 shooting, to continue her high volume, low percentage shooting woes of late. Ellis on the flip side played more efficient basketball as she posted a line of 11 points (5-11 shooting) with three rebounds and assists apiece.
The only other Purdue player to have more than 6 was the Illinois transfer Jeanae Terry. Terry has been phenomenal of late, hitting the game-winner over Georgia Tech and starting to find her way offensively. She finished with 8 points but added a high of 13 rebounds on the night. With Ra’Shaya Kyle in foul trouble, Terry stepped up on the rebounding front but it was no match for Ohio State’s bigs.
On par with the rest of the season, the supporting cast was dreadful tonight. The trio of Cassidy Hardin, Brooke Moore, and Jayla Smith scored 10 points on a combined 3-25 shooting performance. That is not going to win you games. This is going to be something the Boilermakers struggle with all year, but they are going to have to find a consistent spark off the bench to balance things out offensively.
Purdue will look to reset against another Big Ten opponent their next time out as they take on the No. 8 Maryland Terrapins. This game could get ugly quick if the Boilermakers do not come out firing on all cylinders and playing hard. Maryland is 8-2 on the season, with wins over No. 5 Baylor and Miami (FL), and have only lost to No. 2 NC State and No. 4 Stanford. Purdue will travel to College Park on Wednesday, December 8th and the game will tip-off at 7:00 p.m.