The Big Ten Tournament seems to bring out the best in Purdue Women's Basketball (11-19, 3-15) teams, Wednesday night was no different. Purdue escaped with a narrow win over the Badgers with the help of an April Wilson layup and instant replay.
Down 51-42 Purdue went on a 14-3 run to take the lead with 1:15 left. Nicole Bauman turned the ball over giving Purdue a chance to put some distance between themselves and the Badgers but Ashley Morrissette's shot missed. With 32 seconds on the clock Wisconsin called a timeout. Instead of using the whole shot clock the Badgers tied the game up with a long Dakota Whyte jumper with 9 seconds left. April Wilson then took the inbounds coast-to-coast to put Purdue up 58-56 with three seconds left. Wisconsin's desperation three was called good initially, but upon review the refs concluded it came late thus preserving the Purdue victory.
Wisconsin scored to start the game and held their lead till the 12:07 mark. Purdue first hand a one point lead then increased it to three, 16-13. But it wasn't long before Wisconsin took it right back. Purdue countered only to see their lead disappear. The Badgers went on a 12-4 run to go up seven. Later Wisconsin would lead by eight. Purdue was down 37-32 at the end of the first half.
Purdue stayed within striking distance during the early parts of the second half. Wisconsin would stretch their lead to nine, but that was when Purdue caught fire.
The Boilermakers took care the ball better committing only 12 turnovers and won the rebounding battle, 36-32, unlike their last handful of games.
Whitney Bays led the Boilers with 16 points, seven rebounds, five assists, and two steals. Liza Clemons scored 12 points, pulled down eight rebounds, dished four assists, and blocked three shots. Ashley Morrissette also scored 12 points to go with five assists. April Wilson also finished with five assists.
Purdue assisted on 21 of their 24 field goals. The team shot 38.7% from the field and 87.5% from the line.
#14 Purdue advances to the next round to face #6 Minnesota (22-8, 11-7) Thursday. Estimated tip at 7:30 ET on BTN. The teams split the two match-ups this season, both times the road teams won. Purdue needed extra time to get past the Gophers in Minnesota. Purdue was without Bridget Perry in the overtime win.
Purdue will have their hands full with 6'5, B1G POY, double-double machine Amanda Zahui B. In the two match ups between the teams Zahui B. has scored 47 points and recorded 30 rebounds. Zahui B. averages 20.4ppg, 14.2rpg, 3.9bpg in conference play. All Big-Ten honoree, forward Shae Kelley averages 17.8ppg and 9.7rpg.
The winner of the game will face #3 Ohio State.
IU won the other first round matchup over Penn State 68-63.