The Boilers fell to the Hawkeyes in the quarterfinals of the Big Ten Tournament 69-58. Despite a slow start Purdue was able to hang with Iowa for the first 3 quarters of the game.
Purdue showed resiliency and grit as they clawed was their way back despite a double digit deficit in the first half. Defense lives here as Purdue was able to limit the offensive efficiency of the fast tempo Hawkeyes. The Boilers held the number one offensive team in the country who average 86 points a game to just 29 first half points and 69 points overall.
Purdue dominated the glass and out rebounded Iowa 13-6 on offensive boards. The Boilers also frustrated the Hawkeyes with 9 blocked shots and forcing 15 turnovers. They limited Caitlyn Clark in the first half forcing Iowa to go inside. Jeanae Terry pulled down 12 boards and led Purdue in rebounding.
Shooting woes loomed large for the Boilers in the first half. They shot 1-10 from beyond the arc and just couldn’t get anything going offensively. The second half they got hot and hit 3 triples and tied up the game before Iowa took over. The Boilers had multiple chances to stop the bleeding under the basket but missed multiple easy bunnies.
Because Iowa shoots so well, the Boilers had to have people scoring. Petree was held to 7 points and Ellis 8 after both had been our consistent scorers. Jayla Smith led the Boilers with 16 points and was the only Purdue player to score in double figures.
Purdue now awaits their fate to see if they get a bid for the NCAA tournament on Sunday. Purdue was projected to be a 10 seed before their win over Wisconsin and I expect to see their name tomorrow. If the Boilers do make it in, it’ll be their first appearance since 2017.