Winning every single quarter, the No. 7 Michigan Wolverines stayed in control of their game against the Purdue Boilermakers at the Crisler Center in Ann Arbor, Mich. on Monday night. The victory was the fifth in a row for the Wolverines, making them 8-1 in the Big Ten and 17-2 overall. Purdue is now 12-7 overall, but a disappointing 3-5 in the conference.
Battled to the final horn.— Purdue Women's Basketball (@PurdueWBB) January 25, 2022
Back in Mackey on Thursday. pic.twitter.com/AeC1gZ15Ld
The Boilermakers may have lost the game, but they fought bravely. They shot well from three (8-of-24) and didn’t let Michigan pull away or take control of the game until late in the fourth. Despite losing every quarter, they never lost an individual quarter by more than four points.
This game was a fire and oil matchup. The Wolverines like to play through their bigs, but the Boilermakers attacked them by utilizing their guards. Madison Layden led the Purdue starters with 13 points in her 36 minutes of play and Brooke Moore was a scoring machine, producing 16 points off the bench. By focusing on what they do best, the Boilermakers kept themselves in the game until the fourth.
For Michigan, it was all about the forwards. Naz Hillmon scored a whopping 32 points and grabbed 12 boards. Emily Kiser matched Hillmon with 12 boards and added 12 points for good measure. The great Pat Riley once said, “no boards, no rings,” and the Michigan Wolverines exemplify that, winning all 15 games in which they’ve won the rebounding battle. Monday was no exception as they won the battle of the boards 44-33.
The fourth quarter was the climax of this game. Leading 59-50 entering the fourth, the Wolverines were in a good position. They took that nine-point advantage and added to it, going on a 13-8 run to start the fourth quarter. Hillmon and Kiser led the run, scoring eight of the team’s thirteen points. With 3:25 left, the Boilermakers now had two opponents in this game: the Wolverines and the clock. They couldn’t beat either and the game ended 79-66.
Despite the loss, the Boilermakers have to feel good about how they played. They competed well against the No. 7 team in the nation and gave themselves a chance to win the game. They’ll have an opportunity to get back in the win column on Thursday when they play the Minnesota Golden Gophers.
Michigan plays next on Thursday as well and their opponent will be the Ohio State Buckeyes. This game, on paper, will be an even tougher challenge than the Boilermakers were, as the Buckeyes are 15-3 overall, 7-2 in the Big Ten and ranked No. 22 in the country.