Sunday afternoon, Ohio State women’s basketball ends a stretch of three road games in the last four with a trip to West Lafayette, Indiana. The Purdue Boilermakers sit in similar standing to the Illinois Fighting Illini side the Buckeyes faced Thursday.
Purdue is a team who a year after making a surprise trip to the NCAA Tournament finds itself struggling to find victories or consistency. Why are the 19-10 Boilermakers from a year ago sitting at 9-10 with a little over a month left in the regular season?
Can the Boilermakers repeat a 22-23 win against the Buckeyes?
Land-Grant Holy Land: After making the NCAA Tournament last season, Purdue is having a tough go this season. What’s the team missing with both Lasha Petree and Cassidy Hardin graduating last year? Who is stepping into those roles?
Hammer and Rails: It’s been a tough season for sure. After finally making the tournament last season, I really thought this team would look a lot better this year. Petree was an efficient scorer so we definitely miss her but right now it’s honestly seems like a lack of discipline and focus.
Purdue is turning the ball over a lot, resulting in easy transition points for the opposing team. We also just lack that killer instinct “alpha” type player. Coach Katie Gearld inherited a mess, so it’s going to take some time, our freshman have shown promise and I think guard Rashuna Jones will be that type of player. She got injured earlier in the season but has been great as of late.
LGHL: Someone who’s crucial to Purdue is graduate forward Jeanae Terry. She’s close to a double-double every night, sometimes without the points. How important is Terry to Purdue and is there any replacing of the guard when NCAA eligibility ends this season?
HR: Terry is a great facilitator, she’s already 7th in Purdue history for assists for the women’s program and was a transfer from Illinois. She’s also a great rebounder but just doesn’t score a lot, only averaging a little over 5 points a game.
Jordyn Poole who was a 4 star recruit and #38 ranked prospect in the nation is coming in next season. She was a big time get for Gearlds, she’s a very efficient scorer and brings in a lot of what we lack.
LGHL: Purdue started the season facing sides like UCLA, Notre Dame and Florida. Now it’s nearing the end of a six-game stretch including Iowa, Indiana, a surprisingly good Penn State team and ending with Ohio State. What has to go right for the Boilermakers to beat the Buckeyes and end the slump of five losses in a row? Is there a chance to repeat the upset Purdue had over OSU in 2023?
HR: It starts off with taking care of the basketball and out working the opponent. Right now we just don’t have the athletes that higher tier programs have but limiting turnovers, boxing out for rebounds, getting hands up at the arc and taking the best shot are all things this Purdue team is capable of.
We will need some big offensive performances from guard Abbey Ellis, Jones and forward Caitlyn Harper. Freshman forward Mary Ashley Stevenson has been good in the post and she’ll need to make sure she’s finding a body for some boards and second-chance points.