Purdue held the the lead for most of the game but couldn't get points and stops when they needed them most falling the quarterfinals to Michigan State, 65-64.
Things did not start well for Purdue in the fourth as senior leader April Wilson turned over the ball over on Purdue's first two possessions. MSU took the lead twice before they before they held it for good. Michigan State took a 51-49 lead after a basket in transition that started with a Dominique McBryde turnover. Another Wilson turnover led to a Sparty fast break and a suspect foul call to give State the three point play. Two Bree Horrocks jumpers cut the lead to 56-55 with 4:10. Michigan State answered growing their lead to six with 1:10 left. Purdue, still not choosin to foul, forced the Spartans to cough the ball up twice and Bridget Perry scored on back to back possessions to make the score 64-62 with 20 seconds left. Purdue finally got MSU into the bonus and Aerial Powers hit one of two. April Wilson came down and put up a three that missed. Bree Horrocks got the rebound and put it in with 2.8 left. The Purdue defense tried put came up empty when they tried to steal the inbounds falling 65-64.
Purdue got out of the gate well shooting 57% in the first quarter. The teams traded the lead through the first six minutes of the game as neither got into a good rhythm. The last lead change came on an April Wilson jumper to put Purdue up 11-10. The jumper was the start of a 9-2 run. At quarter's end Purdue was up 18-12. Through the second quarter the two teams traded blows. Early on State cut the lead to two but Purdue held them off not letting them tie the score. At the half Purdue led 32-25.
Michigan State started the second half determined scoring the first six points of the half and refusing to give Purdue easy looks. Only up one, April Wilson finally got a jumper to fall. State got a basket inside and later after two empty Purdue possessions Aerial Powers made two free throws to give MSU a one point advantage, 35-34. Purdue answered on the ensuing possession as Ashley Morrissette went to the line and sank two free throws. Purdue was only ever able to push the lead to four as Michigan State kept them within two possessions. On State's last possession they finally hit their only three of the game cutting the lead to one, 44-43.
Bridget Perry led the Boilermakers as she did all she could to try and get the win; Perry finished with 18 points, 5 rebounds, and 3 blocks. April Wilson had a game she'd like to forget committing 10 turnovers to go with 15 points, 6 assists, and 2 steals. Bree Horrocks was a solid contributor putting up 12 points and pulling down 5 rebounds.
Michigan State was led by Aerial Powers; Powers had 25 points, 12 rebounds, 3 assists, and 2 steals. Branndais Agee added 13 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists, and 6 steals. Jasmine Hines was solid in the post putting 11 points and grabbing 8 rebounds.
Purdue finished 41% from the field, 27% from three, and 86% from the line, the Spartans shot 40% from the field, 8% from three, and 74% from the line. Purdue was outrebounded 34-23 as MSU had 15 offensive rebounds. Purdue committed one more turnover than MSU 20-19 but had more points off turnovers, 20-17. Michigan State outscored Purdue 36-22 in the paint.
Purdue really had a chance in this game, but too many girls were non-factors. Andreona Keys' highest stat was four personal fouls. Ashley Morrissette hit her first three and then only hit one other field goal finishing with 8 points. April Wilson had one of her worst performances running the point. Dominique McBryde got roughed up inside turning the ball over three times as she never got into a good flow.
Purdue now has to wait to learn their Tournament fate as they are a bubble team; Purdue is 63rd in RPI rankings. The NCAA Selection Show is March 14.