The Purdue Boilermakers women's basketball team made their first visit of the 21st century to College Park to take on the number 10/11 Maryland Terrapins in the Terps' third Big Ten conference game. The Boilermakers, coming off a rout of rival Indiana, got off to a quick start, but Maryland's depth eventually wore down the visitors from West Lafayette. The Terps picked up an 88-64 win to improve to 3-0 in Big Ten play.
First Half - Chloe unleashes her inner Hit Girl
The Terps won the opening tip and immediately got the ball inside to Brionna Jones who scored the game's opening basket. They then lost sight of their inside advantage hoisting up three jumpers on the three ensuing possessions allowing Purdue to go on an 8-0 run with the Boilermakers beating the Terps off the dribble to score all four baskets in the paint prompting a timeout by Maryland coach Brenda Frese.
A three-point jumper by Chloe Pavlech put Maryland back in front at 14-12. Four minutes later, with just under nine minutes to play in the half, another Pavlech shot from long range gave the Terrapins their largest lead to that point in the game at 26-18 forcing a timeout from Purdue coach Sharon Versyp. Pavlech's spark ignited the team and Versyp called her squad to the bench again after Shatori Walker-Kimbrough's jumper extended Maryland's lead to 13.
Early in the half, the Boilermakers were hampered by an apparent ankle injury that sent starting guard Bridget Perry, who had scored two of the four baskets in Purdue's 8-0 run, to the bench. For Purdue, much of the season has been all about the Bays, but late in the half, former Terrapin Whitney Bays who leads Purdue in scoring and rebounding went to the bench with two fouls creating further trouble for the Boilers. Maryland began to dominate the boards and had opened the lead to 20 before a late three pointer by Ashley Morrissette allowed the visitors to go to the break trailing 45-26.
In addition to asserting their rebounding dominance where they finished with a 25-12 edge, the Terps clamped down on the defensive end. After going 4-4 in the first 2:09 of the contest, Purdue shot 8-25 over the remaining 17:51.
Second Half - Boilers have a handful of shots but not enough beer
Missed layups, three early turnovers, and an abundance of early Terrapins fouls saw the visitors cut a comfortable 50-30 Maryland lead to 50-38 in the opening 3:45 of the second half. After Morrissette made one of two free throws to cut the lead to 11, Walker-Kimbrough hit a jumper from 15 feet and Laurin Mincy completed an old-school three-point play in a 5-0 Terps run that pushed the lead to 62-46.
However, Bays, who would finish with 19 points and 12 rebounds for her sixth straight double double went on a five-point run of her own that kept Purdue within striking distance. The Boilermakers trailed 64-51 as the teams went to the bench for the under eight minute media timeout.
So important is Bays, on the offensive end and on the glass that Versyp elected to leave the redshirt senior in the game for two minutes even after she picked up her fourth foul with 6:45 to play. Versyp called a timeout to get Bays to the bench and, after a three-point jumper by Morrissette, the Terps began to run and Brionna Jones became even more dominant on the glass grabbing the 15th of her career-high 17 rebounds with six minutes to play. Jones added 16 points for her fourth career double double and third of the season. "They had no answer for her," said Frese afterward. "She was really aggressive on the glass and it was huge for us inside."
Eventually, Maryland stretched the lead to the final margin of 24 on a three pointer from the corner by Kristin Confroy. The teams traded baskets over the final minute or so and Maryland came away with the 88-64 win. Three Terrapins joined Jones in reaching double figures lead by Walker-Kimbrough's 18. Mincy added 16 and Lexi Brown finished with 10. Pavlech scored all nine of her points in the first half.
Maryland finished with a 49-28 rebounding edge and had 19 assists to only nine turnovers. Frese attributed the continuing improvement in assist-to-turnover ratio to better team chemistry. "I think they have a better feel for where each other's at. That goes along with chemistry and the amount of games that they've played together."
The Terps will take their 3-0 conference record on the road for games at Minnesota and Rutgers before returning home to face Illinois on the January 18.