-- Purdue On BTN (@PurdueOnBTN) February 26, 2017
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Junior Andreona Keys put back an offensive rebound with fractions of a second left on the clock to give the Purdue women's basketball team a 61-59 senior-day victory over visiting Northwestern at Mackey Arena on Sunday. The victory is the Boilermakers' fourth straight and gives them the No.5 seed in next week's Big Ten Tournament, which begins Wednesday at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.
Keys and freshman Dominique Oden sparked a late fourth-quarter comeback, teaming for the Boilermakers' final 14 points of the game after the Boilermakers squandered an 11-point third-quarter advantage and trailed by four with 1:54 to play. Northwestern senior Nia Coffey put the Wildcats on top 59-55 just under the two-minute mark, and the Boilermakers were unable to pull back within two on the following trip as Northwestern blocked a shot and corralled the rebound.
However, Oden shot the gap on a Wildcat pass at the top of the key and raced down the floor for the uncontested layup to make it 59-57 with 1:23 left. The Boilermakers got a defensive stop, and then Keys battled her way to the free throw line, where she tied it at 59-59 with 55 seconds left. Northwestern turned to redshirt senior Lauren Douglas to try and regain the lead, but her season-high total of 23 points would remain there as freshman Ae'Rianna Harris came up with the timely block to secure the Boilermakers one-last shot to win in regulation.
The Boilermakers worked the game clock under 10 seconds and senior Ashley Morrissette attacked the left side, but her late jumper was well short of the rim. Keys was waiting under the basket for the errant shot and got it up and out of her hands with 0.01 left on the clock to make the game-winner.
Purdue finished the regular season at 19-11 overall and 10-6 in conference play, marking its 26th season with double-digit Big Ten wins and tying Indiana for fourth overall in the conference standings. The Hoosiers get the No. 4 seed and a double-bye on account on the one head-to-head matchup on the season. Keys led the Boilermakers with a team-high 13 points and nine rebounds, dishing out four assists as well. Oden scored 11, while Morrissette had 10 points, five assists and three steals.
Northwestern fell to 19-10 overall and 8-8 in conference play, and will be the No. 9 seed in this week's conference tournament. Douglas' 23 points game on a scorching eight-of-13 shooting, and she added five rebounds and four blocks as well. Coffey finished with 19 points, six rebounds and three assists, and fellow senior Ashley Deary had seven assists, six rebounds and five steals.
Purdue awaits the winner of Wednesday's tournament-opening game between No. 12 seed Illinois and No. 13 seed Nebraska, and will play Thursday at approximately 2:30 p.m. ET. The game will air live on the Big Ten Network.