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Boilers Knock Off No. 6 Seed Nebraska 75-71

The Boilermakers advanced to the quarterfinals where they’ll face No. 3 seed Rutgers tomorrow

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – The Purdue women’s basketball team moved on to the Big Ten Tournament Quarterfinals on Thursday, earning a 75-71 victory over No. 6 seed Nebraska at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Juniors Dominique Oden and Ae’Rianna Harris led the way as Oden tallied 20 points, while Harris posted a double-double with 13 points and 14 rebounds, advancing the Boilermaker to face No. 3 seed Rutgers on Friday at 9 p.m. ET.

Oden’s 20-point effort was her fourth in seven career games in the Big Ten Tournament at Bankers Life Fieldhouse and fourth of the season, adding six rebounds, four assists and three steals. Harris joined some exclusive company in the win, logging her 13th double-double of the season, tied for second-most in season all-time at Purdue, and collecting both her 300th rebound and 100th block of the year. Her 14 rebounds give her 802 for her career, making her the sixth player in program history to surpass 800, and give her 311 for the season, good for third-most in single year all-time at Purdue. Her three blocked shots give her 281 for her career, now tied with assistant coach Lindsay Wisdom-Hylton for Purdue’s career record, and 101 for the season. She’s now only the second player in Big Ten history to post multiple seasons with at least 300 points, 300 rebounds and 100 blocked shots (Amanda Zahui B., Minnesota).

Oden and Harris led five Boilermakers in double figures, joined by sophomores Karissa McLaughlin and Lyndsey Whilby and freshman Kayana Traylor. McLaughlin did most of her damage in the first half, hitting three 3’s to push her season total to 86, just two shy of Katie Gearlds’ single-season school record, and added four assists and four rebounds. Whilby posted her second straight game in double figures with 11, hitting 3-of-3 from 3-point range, including an incredibly clutch triple to finish the third quarter, and Traylor connected on 5-of-7 from the field to total 12 points and five assists.

After a first quarter that featured six lead changes the Boilermakers started to pull away, using a 15-0 run to extend their edge to 24-13 early in the second period. The lead remained at 10 at the half, 40-30, and grew to as many as 14 late in the third quarter, but Nebraska wouldn’t go away. The Cornhuskers hit 11 3’s, including five in the fourth quarter to pull within one at 69-68 with two minutes to play, but Oden came up with an offensive rebound and putback, and Harris followed up with another bucket on the next possession to get the lead back to five and seal up the win.

Purdue dominated the glass to the tune of 44-to-36, including 19 offensive rebounds, and outscored Nebraska in the paint 34-16. The win capped off the first time in Big Ten Tournament history that all four of the lower seeds were victorious in the second round.