Purdue women's basketball ended its tournament run with a 74-62 loss to Maryland in the semifinal round of the Big Ten women's tournament on Friday in Indianapolis.
The No. 9 seed Boilermakers (18-13) were playing for their first Big Ten semifinal appearance since 2017. The No. 1 seed Terrapins (25-4) are looking to make a sixth consecutive Big Ten Final appearance.
"You saw a team in Purdue that was hungry, extremely talented," Maryland head coach Brenda Frese said. "They gave us everything they had for 40 minutes and really made us work."
The first half was a tight back-and-forth between the two teams. The Boilers kept close on the Terrapins' tails, preventing them from pulling too far ahead and effecting six lead changes in the half. Maryland managed to extend its lead to 8 points by the half and continued that hot streak through the rest of the game.
The Terps had four players in double-digit scoring, and were led by 19 points and five 3-pointers from guard Taylor Mikesell. The Boilermakers were powered by 13 points from junior guard Karissa McLaughlin.
"(Mikesell) really shot the ball well in the second half, we knew that she would," head coach Sharon Versyp said. "In our zone we were just trying to find her quite a bit."
Purdue's defense was able to limit Maryland's scoring somewhat, holding the Terrapins at 30-84 shooting. A large contribution to Maryland's total attempts came through its rebounding: the Terps tallied 54 total rebounds to Purdue's 36, with two players reaching double-doubles with rebounds and points.
The Boilermakers were led by senior forward Ae'Rianna Harris' eight rebounds, six blocks and three steals. Harris ended her tournament run with 13 blocks, one short of the tournament record of 14.
Purdue still has a chance to make the NCAA women's tournament later this month. Selection Sunday for the tournament is March 16.
The Purdue women's basketball team is down 37-29 against Maryland at the half in the quarterfinals of the Big Ten women's basketball tournament.
Purdue outstrips Maryland's shooting percentage by 13%, largely due to Maryland's high number of attempts. The Boilermakers are shooting 10-24 compared to Maryland's 14-49 shooting.
The game has been marked by its back-and-forth nature. Every time Maryland has tried to get away, Purdue has climbed back to narrow the lead or flip the score. The game has featured six lead changes, and Maryland's largest lead came with two minutes left in the half.
Sophomore guard Cassidy Hardin has led the Boilers with 9 points, including a last-second 3-pointer in the first quarter to narrow the Terps' lead to 1 point before the break.
Defensively, the Boilers have relied on senior forward Ae'Rianna Harris to disrupt Maryland's offense and create transitions. Harris' four defensive rebounds, five blocks and three steals have created those opportunities for the team.
Went face-to-face with the co-champs today and didn't blink. Excited for what's next. https://t.co/MmOOaX9AMn— Purdue Women's Bball (@PurdueWBB) March 6, 2020
• Maryland leads the all-time series 2-12against Purdue.
• The Boilermakers are now 45-17at the Big Ten Conference Tournament.
• Nyagoa Gony matched her career high with a pair of blocked shots off the bench.
• Oden made her 132nd career start on Friday, passing Erika Valek for the Purdue record.
• Harris played all 40 minutes for the first time this season and the seventh time in her career.
• Maryland won the rebounding battle 54-36. Purdue allowed just 17 points off 28 offensive rebounds.
• After the Terrapins scored 60 points in the paint during the their regular-season matchup, the Boilermakers allowed just 32 points inside on Friday.
• Harris set the program record for most blocked shots in a career at the Big Ten Tournament, finishing her four seasons with 28 rejections.
• Purdue tallied 19 assists on 23 made field goals, led by Oden and McLaughlin with eight and six dimes, respectively.
The Boilermakers will have to wait 10 days for their postseason placement. The NCAA Selection Show on ESPN is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Monday, March 16.
– Purdue Athletics Communications contributed to this report.