Purdue (12-6, 3-5) is due for some soul searching after dropping another Big Ten loss at home against Nebraska (12-7, 4-4). This felt like a must win to try and secure a bid for the tournament with a daunting schedule ahead. Purdue has now lost 4 of their last 6 games and have a 3-5 record in the conference. After a solid start to the season 10-2, Purdue now sits at 12-6 overall.
It was all Abbey Ellis in the beginning who knocked down 10 of her 20 points in the first quarter. Purdue came out shooting well and jumped to a 4-0 run before Nebraska hit a 3 to get on scoreboard. The Boilers then rattled off 7 unanswered points before another 3 ball by the Huskers. Nebraska then went on a run of their own and the two teams traded points back and forth before Nebraska ended the quarter ahead 19-16.
Purdue started the second quarter with a 3 to tie the game before a couple forced turnovers led to Husker points. Nebraska held the lead at 25-21 until Ellis scored 5 unanswered points to come within 1. Nebraska got two easy buckets under the basket and Caitlyn Harper hit a 3 to end the half with Purdue on top 31-30. Harper and Ellis scored 24 of the teams 31 points at the half.
After the half, it was Harpers turn to take over. She rattled off 8 of her 15 points. Purdue held Nebraska scoreless for the first few minutes before the Huskers hit a jumper. Purdue took advantage of some Nebraska turnovers and jumped ahead 41-34 with some quick transition buckets. Nebraska put on a press and was able to rattle our guards and clawed back in to within 5. Each team went on a 5-0 run and Purdue hit two 3’s at the end of the third to take the lead 56-48.
Purdue went cold and Nebraska went on a 14-4 run to take the lead 62-60. A free throw by Purdue and a couple lay-ups by Nebraska extended the lead to 67-61. With time running out, Jeanae Terry hit a timely 3 to pull within 3 with 38 seconds left. Purdue then forced a foul and they hit both taking the lead 69-64. Ellis got tied up on a drive resulting in a jump ball. Posession stayed with Purdue but the Nebraska defense tightened up and Purdue put up a hail mary three that missed. Purdue forced another foul resulting into two more free throws and Nebraska clinched the game.
Abbey Ellis continues to be an offensive spark with 20 points and 6 rebounds to end the game. Caitlyn Harper chipped in 15 points and 4 rebounds. Jeanae Terry padded her assist line again with 8 assists and 8 rebounds. Jayla Smith also had 11 points and 7 rebounds. Shooting wise the teams stacked up almost dead even but Nebraska won this one off points from turnovers and their bench was more efficient.
Purdue plays again this Saturday against Minnesota at 2 pm at Mackey Arena. Minnesota currently sits near the bottom of the conference with a 2-6 B1G record and 9-10 overall.