Earlier this season, Purdue dropped a triple overtime thriller to Nebraska at Mackey Arena. The Lady Boilermakers (24-8) made sure that they would not have a similar outcome this time as they sealed a 74-70 win over the Cornhuskers (24-8) for their eighth Big Ten Tournament title in the past 17 years.
Purdue’s Brittany Rayburn, who hit the game winner over Penn State in the semifinal game, was named the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player. Sophomore guard KK Houser was also named to the All-Tourney team.
Purdue led 56-54 with 51 seconds remaining in regulation, but fouled Nebraska’s Lindsey Moore who made both free throws. After the first overtime ended, Purdue was able to take advantage of Nebraska’s fatigue in the second overtime. Purdue’s depth on the bench proved to be key and helped lead the Boilers to the 74-70 victory after a desperation shot from Nebraska missed the net. 27 points from Moore and 25 from Jordan Hooper were not enough to carry Nebraska’s lack of bench scoring. The Boilermakers’ bench outscored Nebraska’s 26-2. A much more physical team, Coach Sharon Versyp’s squad was also able to out muscle the Huskers on the boards, 51-40.
Houser led Purdue with 19 points on the day. Chantel Poston had 10 points and 11 rebounds for the Boilers and Sam Ostarello notched eight points and 10 rebounds. Rayburn added nine points, in limited time due to foul trouble.
With the Big Ten Tournament title, Purdue should have some nice momentum going into the NCAA tournament. I really feel that Purdue has a great chance of making a deep run in the tourney. This team has the talent to make the run; they just have to bring it all together.