-- Purdue Women's Bball (@PurdueWBB) January 27, 2017
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - The Purdue women's basketball team posted its largest winning margin of the season Thursday, rolling over visiting Nebraska 88-45 at Mackey Arena. The 43-point victory is the ninth-largest conference home win in program history, and the largest since a 72-40 win over Northwestern in 2007, as the Boilermakers hit the halfway point of Big Ten play at 14-8 overall and 5-3 in conference action.
Nebraska kept pace early with the Old Gold & Black, maintaining a two-point margin over the first five minutes with a balanced effort. Senior Ashley Morrissette used defense to spark a 10-0 Purdue run, taking back-to-back steals and spreading it around as four different Boilermakers scored and the lead stretched to 21-9. Nebraska ended the run with a layup from senior Allie Havers, but senior Bridget Perry drained three free throws in the last minute to give Purdue a 24-11 edge at the break.
The second quarter was all Boilermakers, holding the Cornhuskers to six points over 10 minutes, while Morrissette and her squad ran the lead up to 42-17. Morrissette had six points in the period, while sophomore Dominique McBryde did all of her statistical work with six points and five boards in the quarter. Purdue dominated the glass in the first half, holding Nebraska without an offensive rebound while grabbing seven of its own and converting them to 13 second-chance points.
Nebraska got things going a bit after the half, scoring 15 points in the third quarter and hitting 40 percent from the field, but Purdue one-upped their opponents again by hitting eight-of-16 from the floor and stretching the lead to 63-32. With the game in hand it was all Boilermaker in the fourth and final quarter, nailing 10-of-15 from the field and three-of-six from 3-point range.
Morrissette finished with a monster stat line, amassing 21 points, eight assists, five rebounds and tied a career-high with six steals. Freshman Ae'Rianna Harris poured in a career-high 19 points on eight-of-11 shooting, while classmate Dominique Oden added 16 points and a career-most six assists. Senior Bridget Perry was the fourth and final Boilermaker in double figures with 15 points, six boards and three assists. Purdue scored a season-high 48 points in the paint and had 27 points off turnovers.
Nebraska falls to 5-16 overall and 1-8 in conference play with the loss, despite 21 points and eight boards from sophomore Jessica Shepard. Shepard scored 11 points in the fourth quarter with the game out of reach and had eight of the Cornhuskers' 24 turnovers. Purdue limited Nebraska to just three offensive rebounds for the game.
Purdue takes the weekend off and returns to action Thursday, Feb. 2, as the Boilermakers host third-ranked Maryland at 8 p.m. ET at Mackey Arena. The game will air live on the Big Ten Network and tickets start at $3 as we celebrate our faithful fan base with Fan Appreciation Night.