Purdue women’s basketball drops their third straight game and were unable to snap a lengthy losing streak against arch-rival Indiana in a 64-57 defeat Sunday afternoon.
The Boilermakers will have to wait yet another year to get their revenge on the Hoosiers unless the two teams match up in the Big Ten Tournament in March. It is three straight years that Indiana has swept Purdue and 11 seasons since the Boilermakers have gotten a win in Assembly Hall.
Today was just another example of how close this program is to competing at the top of the Big Ten once again. Fans could be frustrated with these results, but all things considered, they should be encouraged that Katie Gearlds has Purdue fighting, competing, and playing hard for all 40 minutes.
Don’t forget where the program was just a season ago, with 7 wins all year, and three starters transferring, which led to Gearlds being brought in to replace Sharon Versyp. This program is going through a rebuild, as hard as it is to say.
It appeared that today was going to be a disaster when Indiana started to pull away in the second half, but credit to Purdue as they fought like they do each time out there. Today was a defensive battle as neither team was able to play very consistent basketball on the offensive end of the floor. That is an encouraging sign for the Boilermakers.
The deficit was extended all the way to 19 with three minutes left in the third quarter. Thanks to runs by Brooke Moore and Abbey Ellis in particular, that lead was 5 with just over a minute to play.
Things got a little odd down the stretch which ultimately left the Boilermakers without an opportunity to get a win. A questionable call that gave Indiana the ball with 46 seconds left up 5, only 1 team foul in the quarter up until that point, and the inability to foul quickly lead to a loss for Purdue. It’s hard to say that stretch was because of Purdue’s coaching or players to be quite honest. It was just unfortunate circumstances for the Boilermakers late in the game.
Turnovers have plagued Purdue all season, and the trend continued today with the Boilermakers handing it over 18 times overall, 10 of which came in the second half. Some blame could also be put on the foul trouble Purdue had, especially in the first half that put Indiana at the line far too often. Now, that is a subjective thing to evaluate because of the referees and things of that nature.
Regardless, Purdue playing with the No. 5 team in the country up until the last minute of the game is extremely impressive with all things considered. This team will continue to learn and grow, but the season is far from over. Although the Boilermakers fall to 13-10 and 4-8 in the Big Ten with this loss, they have a realistic shot to sneak into the NCAA Tournament or the WNIT in March. That will take a serious run, but is not out of the question.
Purdue will look to begin that run against Penn State next time out. The Nittany Lions are just 9-12 on the season and have lost 5 straight coming into today. (They are still playing Northwestern at the time of this writing.) That is a very winnable game for the Boilermakers to start a late-year push. Purdue will host Penn State on Wednesday at 7:00 p.m. on B1G+.