Magic in Mackey! Jeanae Terry hits another buzzer-beater to secure a big-time 60-58 win over Rutgers on Sunday afternoon inside Mackey Arena.
What else can you say about the Illinois transfer, Jeanae Terry? She simply has ice in her veins! After a near monumental collapse by the Boilermakers, Terry cooks up some magic for the second time this season and saves the day for the Boilermakers.
Katie Gearlds and Purdue pick up their first win in Big Ten play after dropping their first two in early December against Maryland and Ohio State. It wasn’t the cleanest of wins, but if you are Purdue, you’ll take this one and use it as momentum for the rest of the conference slate.
From the jump, it appeared that the Boilermakers were going to have another one of those hot shooting nights that end in a lopsided victory. Madison Layden also looked to be back in top form as she put up 11 points in the opening quarter which saw the Boilermakers take an 18-11 lead.
It was tough sledding the second quarter though, as Purdue only scored 13 points, but was able to hold Rutgers to a minuscule 7 points to preserve a double-digit lead going into halftime. This has been a common theme throughout the season for Purdue, having great stretches and following them up with very poor subsequent quarters.
This time around they were lucky that Rutgers couldn’t get the lid off the basket for basically the entire first half or this might have been a vastly different outcome. Purdue is going to have to be much more consistent across 40 minutes to have a decent amount of success this season.
Coming out of the break, both teams caught a second wind offensively and posted their best quarters in terms of output in the third. Abbey Ellis assumed the role that Layden played in the first and guided Purdue with 8 points in the period to keep a lead intact.
Much like the second, the final quarter was rough for the Boilermakers yet again. They were outscored 17-8 and shot just 3-10 from the field. Only two Boilermakers, Terry and Rickie Woltman scored in the fourth with 4 points apiece. In the final seconds, Purdue was able to secure a steal after a held ball situation gave Rutgers possession with 3 seconds left.
Jeanae Terry stepped up again like she did against Georgia Tech and bailed the Boilermakers out to sink the game-winning layup as time expired to give Purdue the win. Terry has scored a modest 7.8 points per game this season but has been the Boilermaker’s most consistent player for much of the year.
As Layden and Ellis struggle to find their footing in games, it’s time for Terry to assume that top dog role for this team in tough positions. She finished today’s win with a tied-for team-high 11 points, with the aforementioned Layden and Ellis, but added in 6 assists as well.
Rickie Woltman also stepped up to secure the Boilers victory as Ra’Shaya Kyle continues to miss time with a leg injury. The center finished with 10 points on 4-8 shooting and 8 rebounds for the afternoon.
Outside of those four, it was an extremely rough go of it for the rest of the Purdue squad. Cassidy Hardin, Brooke Moore, Jayla Smith, and Mide Oriyomi combined for only 3-21 shooting from the field, which is far from what they need out of the supporting cast.
As I have said many times and will continue to say as the year progresses, this team is not expected to go out and win the Big Ten then go on a Final Four run. It’s going to be a learning curve for Katie Gearlds as she moves into the Big Ten from a coaching aspect.
Games like today give Purdue a lot to work on during practice, while also shooting some confidence into the players with a big-time last-second win. It’ll be up to the coaching staff and the ladies on the court to capitalize off of it.
The Boilermakers will look to do just that against another team hovering around .500 in Michigan State. The Spartans snapped a two-game skid against Florida Gulf Coast and West Virginia with a double-digit win over Nebraska last Thursday to move to 2-1 during Big Ten play. At 8-6 on the season, they are an up and down team that hasn’t been able to string together wins this year.
Purdue now sits at 10-4 on the year and is in the midst of a four-game winning streak since getting blown out by Ohio State and Maryland. They will need to extend their streak against the Spartans with three out of their next five contests coming against teams ranked in the AP Top 25 as of this week. The game will be next Sunday on January 9th in the Breslin Center, tipping off at 2:00 p.m. EST on B1G+.