Leigha Brown scored nine of the No. 17 Michigan Wolverines’ 23 points in the first quarter and Emily Kiser scored 10 of its 16 points in the second before balanced scoring in the third and fourth led the team to an 80-59 victory over the Purdue Boilermakers Tuesday night at Mackey Arena in West Lafayette, Indiana.
Brown finished with a game-high 21 points, four assists and two blocks, while Kiser recorded 17 points and seven rebounds and Laila Phelia managed 17 points as well. Kiser was 7-of-10 from the field; Brown was 7-of-13 (2-of-4 from three).
Brown was a solid 5-of-6 at the charity stripe, where Michigan was 17-of-20 as a team to gain a significant advantage over Purdue, which was 8-of-10. The Wolverines also won rebounds 33-20, offensive boards 11-5 and second-chance points 20-6.
Michigan (14-3, 4-2 Big Ten) was up just four at halftime, but back-to-back threes from Brown and Jordan Hobbs extended its lead to 49-37 three minutes and 22 seconds into the third. Phelia free throws pushed the lead to 14 and a Maddie Nolan three got it to 16, which is how much Michigan led by entering the fourth.
In the fourth, another Nolan three raised the lead to 17 before two more Phelia free throws brought it to 19. Brown followed those free throws with a 3-point play that made it 68-46 with 6:47 remaining. Twenty-two remained the Wolverines’ largest lead until the 46-second mark of the final frame when two Greta Kampschroeder free throws pushed it to 23.
Michigan led 13-2 and 21-10, but an 8-0 Purdue run cut it to 21-18. Lasha Petree and Abbey Ellis made layups before a Madison Layden score and two Cassidy Hardin free throws, with those freebies coming at six seconds remaining in the opening frame. The Boilermakers (11-5, 2-4 Big Ten) were showing good fight, but allowed the Wolverines to toss it down the court to Cameron Williams for a layup to cap the first. At least Purdue was only down five as opposed to 11 entering the second.
The lapse at the end of the first was soon forgotten as the Boilermakers went on an 8-2 run from 4:59 in the second to 4:13 in the second to cut it to 29-28. The 8-0 run from the first had pretty much gotten them in the game and now they were making Michigan sweat even more. The 8-2 second-quarter run was highlighted by a Layden three and a Hardin three.
Back-to-back Jeanae Terry to Jayla Smith connections each cut it to one as well later in the second. Layden’s third three of the game cut it to 37-35 with 25 seconds to go before halftime. The Wolverines again had the last say in a frame, as Kiser put up a layup with two ticks to go, making it 39-35 at the break.
Brown and Phelia came out hot and led Michigan to the 13-2 start. Phelia scored on two layups and a mid-range make for six points on the run and Brown capped it with a deep three that gave her seven points.
Purdue received efficient performances from Layden (16 points) and Caitlyn Harper (10 points, four blocks). Layden was 4-of-6 from distance and made both of her 2-pointers, while Harper was 2-of-2 from long range. Smith added 14 points in just 18 minutes in defeat.
Purdue is currently part of the “next four out” in ESPN’s Bracketology. Michigan is a No. 4 seed.