Purdue almost had another ranked opponent in their back pocket but was unable to complete the upset as they fall to Maryland, 86-71.
Coming into the game, the Boilermakers were down their two best players with Madison Layden (illness) and Ra’Shaya Kyle (leg) tonight. This was a game that Purdue should have lost by 30-40, against the No. 8 team in the country.
The fact that Purdue was able to give a team like Maryland that much trouble is a good sign, but there are no moral wins in sports, as some might say. It would have been a big story had the Boilermakers bounced back after a 17 point defeat against Ohio State to get this win.
Now, Purdue falls to 0-2 to start the Big Ten season and has lost both by a combined 32 points which isn’t what you want to see this early in the year. As I have said in almost every game wrap this year, give them some time to keep improving themselves as they are coming off a 7 win season.
Shooting out of the gates, Purdue was on fire and it looked like they had some serious momentum that could create a magical night. Cassidy Hardin led the way with 8 points and the Boilermakers scored 22 on a very impressive 9-12 shooting clip.
As the game wore on, it seemed like they just could not muster up enough strength to get things going consistently. Their points declined from 22 in the first, 18 in the second to 13 in the third quarter. The game was all tied up at 45 in the middle of the third quarter, but from that point on the Terrapins flexed their muscles and coasted to a win.
The fourth quarter was slightly better offensively in terms of output, but they were just unable to get stops consistently. This is largely due to Layden and Kyle being out along with the wear and tear their replacements took tonight.
Although it was a forgettable second half, a few Boilermakers turned in solid performances. Brooke Moore dropped a season-high 22 points and was lighting things up from outside as she connected on 6-10 three-point attempts. This could be huge for her to step up and become that consistent third option behind Layden and Kyle.
Rokia Doumbia had also been relegated to a very small role off the bench but ended up playing a large part of the game tonight. In 23 minutes, Doumbia scored 10 points on 4-4 shooting and added in 6 rebounds. This was a pleasant surprise out of her, who was buried on the bench so far this year.
Jeanae Terry also continued her impressive play, with nearly a triple-double in College Park. Terry finished with 9 points, 10 rebounds, and 8 assists this evening, and has become the ultimate glue girl for Purdue.
The Boilermakers will look to dust themselves off and get back up on Sunday against Denver. This is a game the Boilermakers should win handily, as Denver is just 4-5 on the season as of tonight, with a matchup against Butler coming tomorrow. Purdue hosts the Pioneers on Sunday inside Mackey Arena at 2:00 p.m. and the game will be streamed on B1G+.