After three straight wins to start the year, the Purdue women’s basketball team suffered its first loss of the season Saturday night against the University of Dayton.
The Boilermakers (3-1) were out-rebounded, out-shot and out-blocked as they lost by 16 points at home.
Sophomore guard Madison Layden, who leads the Boilermakers in assists, points and rebounds, was neutralized by the Flyers (3-1). Layden went 2-for-11 from the field and only grabbed three rebounds during her team-high 37 minutes on the court.
The Atlantic 10 opponent only had one loss on the year against Duke coming into West Lafayette. The Flyers were led by senior guard Erin Whalen, who scored a massive 26 points and eight rebounds.
Even with their height advantage, the Boilermakers were out-rebounded 41-30, but kept the game close up until seven minutes left in the third quarter.
After sophomore center Ra Shaya Kyle scored on a layup, assisted by senior guard Cassidy Hardin the Boilers were within 1 point.
But a foul on Kyle, a missed layup by Layden, a turnover by senior guard Cassidy Hardin and then six more consecutive missed shots found the Boilers down 15 points in just four minutes.
Head coach Katie Gearlds could not reclaim any momentum after that point. Even after a four-minute stretch in which Dayton only scored 3 points, the Boilers failed to capitalize, missing four layups.
Purdue has a considerably easier matchup Monday as it takes on Marshall at home. But after Marshall, the Boilermakers play a four game stretch against ranked opponents.
The team is looking down the barrel of No. 22 West Virginia, No. 18 Georgia Tech, No. 21 Ohio State and No. 3 Maryland before the end of the semester. With those opponents in mind, the loss to Dayton may point to needed improvements by the team.
Head coach Katie Gearlds will look to fix the rebounding and scoring issues presented during this game heading into the tough stretch of games.
Even with the disappointing performance from the team there were still a few highlights on the team. Kyle had an outstanding performance, scoring a team-high 20 points off of 14 shots and eight rebounds. Also, junior guard Abbey Ellis grabbed the team four offensive rebounds which is rendered even more impressive given her 5-foot-6-inch stature.
The team will look to rebound from Saturday's loss Monday night against Marshall at Mackey Arena. The game tips off at 7 p.m. and can be streamed on BTN+.