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Women’s basketball – Purdue falls to No. 3 Iowa 96-71

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Women's basketball - Purdue falls to No. 3 Iowa 96-71
In what was the second sellout of Mackey Arena under Katie Gearlds’ watch, Purdue women’s basketball was unable to threaten a massive upset to Caitlin Clark and the No. 3 Iowa Hawkeyes, falling 96-71 on Wednesday night.

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The nation’s third-best scoring offense showed why it has been high-powered this season, as the Boilermakers surrendered its highest scoring total of the year, besting the season-opening defeat to UCLA, which saw the Bruins drop 92. Katie Gearlds and Purdue drop to 9-6 on the season and 2-2 early in Big Ten play thus far. The defeat also snaps the Boilermakers’ 10-game winning streak inside Mackey Arena dating back to last season.

The Boilermakers will return to action on Sunday in a make up game against Maryland, after the scheduled matchup was postponed on January 6th due to facilities issues in College Park.

Purdue found itself in an early hole after Iowa jumped out to an 8-2 lead less than three minutes into the game, thanks in part to a pair of Caitlin Clark three-pointers. The Boilermakers got the lid off the basket as Abbey Ellis knocked down a triple of her own, which kickstarted a 9-0 between herself and Madison Layden.

The cap to the run came on a Layden jumper that provided the Boilermakers with an 11-8 advantage at the 6:16 mark of the first quarter.

Caitlin Clark’s sidekicks then began pitching into the efforts, as Affolter and Gabbie Marshall both knocked down threes while trading baskets with Abbey Ellis and Jeanae Terry.

That is when the Hawkeyes began taking control of the contest, putting together a 12-0 run to take a 26-15 lead. Iowa added another point to that advantage in the final 30 seconds after Kylie Feuerbach knocked down a triple to end the quarter. Clark had a pair of baskets during the stretch, which brought her up to 11 points in the first six minutes of the game, helping the Hawkeyes close the first quarter on a 15-3 run.

The Boilermakers fell victim to one of the nation’s top offenses firing on all cylinders in the opening frame, shooting 7-11 from three-point range to Purdue’s mark of 2-7.

Katie Gearlds rallied the troops to kick off the second quarter in Mackey Arena, going on a 7-2 run to open the quarter. That success quickly dried up as the Hawkeyes got contributions from Kate Martin and Hannah Stuelke to stiff Purdue’s surge.

Mackey Arena began to come alive once again halfway through the second quarter after Jeanae Terry hit her fourth jumper in the first half, followed by a steal on the inbounds pass by Jayla Smith that resulted in a layup for the Boilermakers. The short flurry brought Purdue back within seven with 4:38 to play in the first half and got the Mackey faithful back on its feet.

That marked the last field goal in the first half for the Boilermakers, who saw their offensive burst come to a screeching halt when they needed it most. After the halfway mark of the quarter, Madison Layden and Mila Reynolds were the only Boilermakers to score, both having a pair of three throws.

Iowa took advantage of the lull, closing the first half on a 9-2 run and expanding its lead to 14 heading into halftime. The Clark-led Hawkeyes went into the break shooting 61% from the field and 9-18 from beyond the arc, thoroughly outpacing the Boilermakers, who were held to 41% shooting an 2-9 from three-point range.

Coming out of the break, Purdue once again kept pace for the first three and a half minutes of the third quarter before the Hawkeyes were powered by another outburst on the offensive end of the floor.

After Abbey Ellis and Caitlyn Harper got the offensive flowing for the Boilermakers, Iowa’s Sydney Affolter knocked down a three and followed it up with another made jumper after Caitlyn Harper got a layup to fall. The Hawkeyes proceeded to go on a 13-4 run that expanded the Purdue deficit to 67-47 with 4:27 to play in the third quarter.

The Boilermakers then surrendered another surge from the Hawkeyes after Jayla Smith’s layup with 3:50 to go. Iowa’s Feuerbach and Goodman combined for six points in the latter minutes of the quarter, allowing the Hawkeyes to enter the final frame up 73-52.

Already facing a sizable deficit with just ten minutes to play, Purdue did show signs of life to start the fourth quarter, going on another brief 7-2 in the first three minutes of the final frame. The Boilermakers eventually got it as close as 15 with 5:24 to play, but were unable to mount an all-time comeback in Mackey Arena.

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