PISCATAWAY, N.J. - In a battle between the Big Ten’s top two defenses, the Rutgers women’s basketball fell, 55-42, to Purdue on Wednesday night at the RAC.
Ashley Morrissette paced the Boilermakers (16-11, 7-6 Big Ten) with 19 points. Dominque Oden followed with 10 points, while Ae’Rianna Harris led Purdue on the boards with 14 rebounds.
Rutgers and Purdue each got off to a slow start in the contest, as the score would be knotted, 9-9, at the end of the first quarter. The Scarlet Knights had opened the frame with a 6-2 lead before the Boilermakers responded with their own run to balance the score.
Moving into the second quarter, Purdue began to pull away on the scoreboard with a 15-11 lead at the 5:38 minute mark. Although sophomore Aliyah Jeune connected from 3-point range to bring the Scarlet Knights back within one, it would be the closest the Scarlet Knights would be the rest of the evening.
Following Jeune’s made three, the Boilermakers outscored RU, 9-3, for a 24-17 edge with 1:41 to go until halftime. Before the halftime buzzer, Parker responded with a 3-pointer to diminish the lead. However, Purdue tacked on one more layup before the break to take a 26-20 advantage to the locker room. As the Rutgers offense hit a lull, Purdue capitalized by pushing its lead to as many as 14 in the third quarter. After RU cut the deficit to three within the first two minutes of the third frame, Purdue responded with seven straight points for a 34-24 lead with 7:09 on the clock.
A Kandiss Barber free throw stopped RU’s scoring drought and would bring the margin back to single digits. The Boilermakers answered with another five-straight points for 12-1 run. Lamina Cooper capped the run with a 3-pointer to put her Purdue squad ahead, 39-25, with 1:49 left in the quarter.
The Boilermakers led 42-30 at the end of three quarters of play.
Although it was a more balanced fourth quarter for the Scarlet Knights, who were edged out 13-12 in scoring in the final frame, the Boilermakers would hold at least a 10-point edge for the remainder of the contest.
Up next, Rutgers travels to Wisconsin on Saturday, Feb. 18 for a Noon tipoff on Big Ten Network.
- Shrita Parker led RU with 11 points. It was the 13th time she had led RU in scoring and 15th time in 2016-17 she has reached double figures. Parker has led RU in scoring in all but four of the Scarlet Knights’ 11 Big Ten contests.
- Rutgers was outrebounded 47-42. Desiree Keeling came off the bench to led RU with eight rebounds. It was the 11th time she led the Scarlet Knights on the boards this season.
- Khadaizha Sanders registered five assists. It was her 12th game of the season with five or more helpers.
- Purdue’s Ae’Rianna Harris logged 14 rebounds, the most rebounds by an RU opponent in a game this season.
- RU committed only 10 turnovers, the second fewest recorded this season.
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