IOWA CITY, Iowa (Purdue Sports) — The Purdue women's basketball team rallied from a 13-point deficit to tie the score near the end of the third quarter, but 17th-ranked Iowa opened the fourth and final quarter on an 11-2 run and never looked back, finishing up a 72-58 Hawkeye win at Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Sunday. The Boilermakers drop to 15-7 overall and finish the first half of Big Ten play at 6-3, tied for fourth in the conference.
After going back-and-forth in the first quarter, Iowa pulled away in the second due to cold Purdue shooting and took a 37-27 lead to the locker room. The continued to pull away at the start of the third, but the Boilermakers rallied behind the trio of juniors Ae'Rianna Harris and Dominique Oden and sophomore Karissa McLaughlin. The three combined for a 13-2 run to erase the deficit and knot things up at 47-47 with two minutes left in the period, but turned it over on the following possession and could never take the lead.
The nation's leading scorer, Iowa senior Megan Gustafson, put her team on her back in the fourth, scoring 12 of her game-high 25 points and adding 11 points and two blocks. The Boilermakers made only 5-of-17 in the fourth quarter and fouled several times in the closing minute in a comeback attempt, but couldn't chip into the Iowa lead.
Oden finished with 17 points, nine rebounds, five assists and two steals, while McLaughlin added 16 points on four triples and Harris scored all 12 of her points in the second half and blocked two shots. Junior Fatou Diagne had a great game off the bench, posting eight points, seven rebounds and a block, pulling down five rebounds on the offensive end.
Purdue heads back to Mackey Arena this week, hosting Nebraska on Thursday in an 8 p.m. ET tip, live on the Big Ten Network.
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