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Nebraska WBB 68 vs Purdue 76 Recap

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A badly timed scoring drought doomed the Huskers in a home loss to the Boilermakers

COLLEGE BASKETBALL: MAR 07 Big Ten Conference Women’s Tournament - Purdue v Nebraska Photo by Jeffrey Brown/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Purdue rejiggered their starting lineup. They are a desperate team in desperate need of a win after a meltdown vs Minnesota. This could make them extremely motivated or it could make them careless.

First Quarter

The Boilers went up early with two made three-pointers. The Huskers were successful in driving and drawing fouls (4-4 from the line was keeping Nebraska in the game). A’rianna Harris owned Kate Cain as soon as she got on the floor with three quick buckets against the Husker center. The Husker shots were clanking while Purdue was scoring at will (of course, one of the worst offensive teams in the conference looked good. sigh)

At the under-5 timeout, the Boilers were up 16-8.

Husker shots clanked.

Purdue shots didn’t.

End of first quarter - Purdue 26 Nebraska 13

Ouch. The desperation has the Boilers playing loose and with a “nothing to lose” attitude. Nebraska needs to respond.

Second Quarter

Leigha Brown opened the quarter with an “and one” play to pull Nebraska within 10. The Huskers probably need to adopt a drive and draw the foul mentality to get to the line more.

A’rianna Harris continued to work Cain over and was 4-4 shooting (all nifty hook shots). The Purdue defense was putting pressure on the Huskers and putting them in late shot clock situations - which are not where any offense wants to be.

The turnovers!! My word, the turnovers are killing the Huskers!! Make it stop!!

Harris is pissed she wasn’t in the starting lineup and she’s taking it out on whichever Husker is guarding her. No one can stop the 6’1” forward. She is 6-6 from the field (that’s 100% if you couldn’t calculate that on your own). The Boiler lead reached 21 points at its peak.

The Huskers needed points and they went on an 8-0 run. 39-26 was the score.

Then Kayla Mershon hit s 3 to close the lead to 10.

Halftime - Purdue 39 Nebraska 29

Third Quarter

The teams traded baskets and misses to start the quarter. A Haiby three-pointer closed the lead down to eight. But Kate Cain was called for her third foul and was replaced by Izzy Bourne - who looked good in the first half. The Boilers got the lead back up to 12 until Ashtyn Verbeek went to work with four straight points and then drew a foul on Harris (the 6’2” post dribbled behind her back on the drive!). She made one to extend the Husker run to five points. Score (46-39 with Purdue leading).

Score at the under-5 timeout is Purdue 47 Nebraska 39

A’rianna Harris extended her streak to 7-7 and then Purdue followed with a three-pointer to put the Boilers back up by 13. Nebraska needs another run. Fortunately Amy Williams put Ashtyn Verbeek back in the game.

It was Nicea Eliely who brought it back to nine with an “and one” by drawing the third foul on Harris (a bit of a dirty play grabbing Eliely’s leg while in the air for a layup). The Huskers did some work at the end of the quarter (Izzy Bourne with a buzzer beater to cap a 9-0 run) to close the Purdue lead to four points.

End of third quarter - Purdue 54 Nebraska 50

Fourth Quarter

Leigha Brown opened the scoring to bring the Huskers within two. She and fellow sophomore Sammy Haiby were working hard and getting hustle plays. After a scoring drought by both teams, Hannah Whitish finds big Kate to TIE THE GAME!! 56-56

And then Leigha Brown with one of her patented “No No No...Yes!” shots gave the Huskers their first lead at 58-56. The teams traded leads and then a gassed [looking] Purdue team didn’t get back in transition and gave up a three to Eliely.

Score at 3:41 Nebraska 63 Purdue 61

Purdue got the lead back at 2:42 at 65-63. More Husker shots clanked. Purdue extended it to 67-63. More Husker clankage. A Boiler three extended the lead to seven while the Husker scoring drought continued.

The Huskers had to resort to fouling as the clock went under a minute and Purdue drained their free throws. Eliely drained a three with four seconds left, but it was too little too late.

Final Purdue 76 Nebraska 68