Survive and advance. Purdue won their first game of the Big Ten Tournament defeating Wisconsin 57-55. With 10 seconds to play Maty Wilkie hit a 3 to give the Badgers a 1 point lead. Madison Layden inbounded to Jeanae Terry who drove the lane and dished to Jayla Smith for a wide open look. The sophomore guard sinks the three with time winding down giving Purdue the lead and the win.
Things were looking bleak in the first half and like the wheels were coming off for the Purdue, The turnovers were mounting, no one could score, and the Boilers found themselves down by as many as 18 in the second quarter. After a late quarter rally they pulled it to within 9 heading into the half.
Abbey Ellis who has been a spark all season for this team decided to take things into her own hands in the second half. The senior rattled off 12 of her 19 points along with Cassidy Hardin getting hot from beyond the arc to bring the Boilers within 3 by the end of the third.
It seemed like every time Purdue would get close to tieing it up Wisconsin had an answer. The two teams traded points back and forth until Abbey Ellis drove the lane hitting the layup and getting the foul. Ellis who leads the conference in free throw shooting completes the three point play and ties up the game late in the fourth.
With 26 seconds to play the Boilers had the ball and a 2 point lead. After a tie up under the basket and a questionable no foul call Purdue turned the ball over to give Wisconsin a chance to come back. Wisconsin traveled in the next possession (ball don’t lie) giving Purdue another chance to close out the game with 20 seconds on the clock.
Abbey Ellis got the inbound but drove into Wisconsin traffic resulting in a jump ball and possssion back to Wisconsin. In what seemed like the longest ending of a game and two huge shots at the end by both teams, Purdue found themselves on the right side of the glass. After only making 6 triples during Big Ten Play this year, Jayla Smith called the game with her game winning 3 pointer.
Abbey Ellis led Purdue with her 19 points and 3 rebounds while Cassidy Hardin chipped in 10 including 3 triples. Terry had 6 points, 6 assists and 8 rebounds. It was an all around team effort as all but two Boilers scored.
Purdue advances to the third round and faces Iowa tonight at 6:30 pm on BTN. Check back later for my pregame matchup.