The Boilermakers have beaten a top-5 team on the road for the first time in program history
Despite a late game push, Purdue's women’s basketball team (15-6, 6-5 Big Ten) held on to defeat No. 2 Ohio State (19-3, 8-3 Big Ten).
“We are trying to get Purdue back, hopefully this is just the beginning for us,” head coach Katie Gearlds said to Tim Newton on 95.3 BOB FM radio after the game.
After the Buckeyes tied the game, Madison Layden and Abbey Ellis hit two big shots for the Boilermakers to put them back on top by 7 late in the fourth quarter.
“It got loud in here when Ohio State tied it up,” Gearlds said. “They never took the lead, just a really really gutsy effort by our ballclub.”
The Boilermakers traveled to Columbus, Ohio, on a two-game winning streak, coming off a big road win against No. 22 Illinois. The Buckeyes entered the game on a two-game losing streak, both losses coming against top-10 opponents.
The Purdue offense was rolling in the first quarter, shooting seven-for-nine from 3-point range. Abbey Ellis was red hot, shooting three-for-three from behind the arc.
“Last year against these guys, we made six 3's the entire game and we were six-for-36,” head coach Katie Gearlds said. “(Today) we made seven in the first quarter; it was kind of a perfect storm for us there in the first quarter.”
After allowing three putback buckets to end the first half though, Purdue's lead narrowed to 41-29 at the break.
Purdue’s defense continued its dominance, after holding its last two opponents to under 33% shooting. The Buckeyes did not lead at any point in the game.
The Boilermakers entered the game with an average of 22.7 points per game from their bench, but they ended up with just 12 points against Ohio State.
At the 8:20 mark in the third quarter, Purdue had its largest lead of the game with 17 points, forcing the Buckeyes to use a timeout.
Taylor Mikesell took over for the Buckeyes in the second half, cutting Purdue’s lead to just 4 points after a big 3-point basket early in the fourth quarter.
Purdue gave up 13 turnovers on the day, with four of them coming at a crucial time early in the fourth quarter.
Ohio State’s leading scorer, Taylor Thierry, fouled out of the game with 4 minutes left in regulation.
Gearlds said multiple players were under the weather for the Boilermakers today.
“We just kind of fed into them, 'It’s Michael Jordan’s flu game right now,'” Gearlds said.
Purdue’s next game is against Indiana in Mackey Arena on Sunday. The game will tip off at 2 p.m. and will air on Fox Sports 1.