WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (Purdue Sports/WLFI) — The Purdue women's basketball team fell in its regular season finale Saturday, suffering an 82-68 loss to Michigan State at Mackey Arena. The Boilermakers rallied for a monster third quarter against the Spartans, but were unable to finish the comeback falling to 18-12 overall and 9-7 in conference play, and will, unofficially, be the No. 8 seed in next week's Big Ten Tournament.
Purdue had some success early, getting to the free throw line and scoring some buckets inside from senior Andreona Keys and freshman Tamara Farquhar to lead 12-8 after six and a half minutes. However MSU would close the quarter on a 12-2 run and take a 20-14 lead into the first break. The Boilermakers would go frozen cold in the second quarter, hitting only 3-of-15 shots and scoring only eight points as the Spartans opened up a 35-22 advantage at the half.
Purdue head coach Sharon Versyp fed her squad a rousing halftime speech as the Boilermakers came out of the locker room on fire. Sophomore Dominique Oden poured in 14 of her team-high 20 points in the frame, hitting on four 3-pointers and helping her squad erase a 15-point deficit as Purdue would tie the score at 52-52 as they scored 30 points in the frame. Keys was outstanding in the run as well, scoring seven of her 16 points in the third quarter.
MSU would finish the third on a 5-0 run and quickly stretched their lead back to double digits in the fourth quarter as the Boilermakers would go the first four and a half minutes of the final quarter without a point. Purdue made a few flurries late, but got no closer than eight points down the stretch.
Oden added three steals and three assists to her sixth 20-point effort of the season, while Keys chipped in five rebounds, four assists and two steals. Sophomore Ae'Rianna Harris added a double-double with 18 points, 10 rebounds and three blocked shots, hitting 7-of-12 from the floor.
Michigan State got a game-high 21 points from sophomore Shay Colley, 1-of-4 Spartans in double figures. The Spartans hit on 47.6 percent from the field, including 7-of-15 from 3-point range, and capitalized at the free throw line with 15-of-19. Michigan State finishes the regular season at 17-12 overall and 7-9 in the Big Ten.
Big Ten Tournament action starts Wednesday at Bankers Life Fieldhouse, with games between the No. 11 and 14 seeds and No. 12 and 13 seeds, and continues with the second round Thursday. Purdue will likely play No. 9 seed Rutgers at noon to open the second day of play, with the winner advancing to play either Maryland or Ohio State, depending on who can clinch the top seed Sunday.