Purdue picked up their fifth straight win after a 69-59 road victory over Michigan State, Sunday afternoon.
Although Michigan State is now just 8-7 on the season and has been up and down throughout the year, this is one of the more impressive wins by the Boilermakers so far. To pick up any win on the road in the Big Ten is a big deal, as Purdue fans have seen on the men’s side with Matt Painter and company losing to Rutgers away from home.
Good teams come in and beat you on your own court. That is exactly what the Boilermakers did this afternoon, and in convincing fashion as well.
On par with many of the starts this season, Purdue came out of the gates on fire from three-point range and looked to be setting the tone early. Madison Layden and Brooke Moore combined for a perfect 5-5 from deep, which contributed to a 6-9 shooting performance as a team.
Similar to the Boilers’ last game as well, this team was unable to keep the momentum going into the second quarter as they were outscored 20-11 by the Spartans. It was a mess of poor shooting, turnover issues that have plagued this team all season, and getting outplayed by Michigan State’s offense.
It was more or less an even game throughout the third quarter with neither team able to get much going offensively. This team has to become more consistent going in and coming out of halftime moving forward. It feels like just about every game goes this way, but when you face off against teams like Michigan, Iowa, and Indiana, it is a recipe for getting completely blown out.
Purdue made up for their poor second and third quarters with a dominating fourth quarter that saw them go on a 16-2 run in the middle of the quarter to essentially ice the game. Needed a boost with the offense stalling, Brooke Moore and Abbey Ellis carried the scoring for the Boilermakers to the tune of 16 combined points.
Moore has stepped up on more than a few occasions this season to guide the Boilermakers to victory in a tight game. If she could have these types of performances more often against the upper echelon of the Big Ten, Purdue could do some serious damage in the league. Moore finished with a game-high 22 points on a clean 8-12 shooting performance, including 3-6 from three-point range.
Rickie Woltman continued her stellar play today as well, and has become a key piece for Katie Gearlds both now and when Ra’Shaya Kyle returns from injury. Woltman has a great story, as she had a minimal role for the Boilers up until this season. The coaching staff might not have had that confidence in her which showed by her being buried on the depth chart but Woltman has made the most of her opportunity thus far.
Although they have flown under the radar, this Boilermakers team is picking up steam heading into the toughest part of their schedule. Winning 5 consecutive games including wins over Miami, Wisconsin, and Michigan State has given this once historic program the most momentum in several years.
The Boilermakers now stand at 11-4 and move to 2-2 in Big Ten play this season. That mark is bigger than people may think because three of the next four games come against the top of the Big Ten. The next step for Purdue is competing and winning those types of games as they’ve proven they can best the middling squads in the conference.
Next up for Purdue is Iowa, who today beat Nebraska on the road to move to 8-4 overall on the season. The Hawkeyes have been up and down this year with losses against all of the relatively decent teams they’ve played and a bad loss against IUPUI at home. Purdue will host Iowa on Thursday of next week at 7:00 p.m. and will be available on B1G+.