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Ultimate Collapse: Wisconsin 54, Purdue 52.

Brutal loss for the Boilermakers.

Syndication: Journal-Courier Nikos Frazier / Journal & Courier / USA TODAY NETWORK

Purdue women’s basketball blows massive lead in the second half to fall against Wisconsin, 54-52 in Madison.

This loss is disappointing for Purdue in so many different ways. Not only did they blow a 22 point lead in the second half, lose to the worst team in the conference, but it effectively ends their hopes of competing in the NCAA Tournament. That was a very slim chance before this, but the door was slammed in their faces by the Badgers.

Purdue wasn’t set to contend this year, it simply did not have the experience nor the cohesion to make a run. Despite that, there was real optimism that this team could make some noise and they’ve fallen short in the latter half of the season.

Coming out of the gates today, Purdue was cooking and did what was expected against a team that was 6-17 before the game. Getting out to a 17-0 run and being in complete control throughout the first half. Abbey Ellis was leading the way with 11 points, and the defensive performance was outstanding.

The basketball gods will only know what happened in that second half to produce a horrible blown lead. It was one of the worst offensive outputs in program history in the latter two quarters as Purdue shot just 17% from the field which was a 5-29 clip. That was essentially what the game came down to, not getting anything to fall while Wisconsin got their second wind. Even with a 10 point lead going into the fourth quarter, it was not looking great for Purdue and they ended up on the wrong side of a great game, coming from the Wisconsin squad.

Other than the shooting, Purdue didn’t have a whole lot that cost them the game. As simple as that sounds, it proved to be true. They snatched 38 rebounds to Wisconsin’s 35, had fewer turnovers with 12 after coughing it up 24 times in their last game, and led in almost every single statistical category for the game. Wisconsin hitting 5 of their last 6 shots from the field and Purdue’s confidence shot, it was just a recipe for disaster down the stretch.

This one will be a tough pill to swallow for the players, coaches, and staff, but life goes on in the Big Ten. Purdue will have to get up, dust themselves off and get ready for the home stretch of conference play leading into March. That is the only thing they can do at this point. Smash the tape, bury it, and move forward.

After today’s loss, Purdue falls to 14-11 on the season and just 5-9 during league play thus far. Next time out, they will match up with another squad at the bottom of the conference standings in Illinois. The Illini have dropped 6 straight and are just 1-8 in the Big Ten. They will face Ohio State on Valentine’s Day before traveling to Mackey Arena on Thursday evening. That game will be at 7:00 p.m. from West Lafayette and be broadcast on B1G+.