CHAMPAIGN, Ill. – Dominating on the glass and the defensive end, the Purdue women’s basketball team stormed into State Farm Center and came away with a 62-52 win over No. 22 Illinois on Thursday night. The ranked win was the second of the Katie Gearlds era and the first road victory for Purdue since Feb. 15, 2018, against No. 10 Maryland.
The Boilermakers (14-6, 5-5) held the hottest 3-point shooting team in the Big Ten to just 15.4% (4-26) from behind the arc. Illinois (16-5, 6-4) came into the night shooting 40.3% from distance.
On the glass, the Illini topped the league with a rebounding margin of 8.8. Purdue won the battle on the boards 40-31.
Outscoring the hosts in each of the first three quarters, Purdue held Illinois to a 32.2% clip from the field.
Jeanae Terry tallied her third double-double of the season with 10 points and 14 rebounds, a game high on the glass. The senior dished out four assists and recorded four steals to go with one block in the win.
Abbey Ellis paced the Boilermakers with 16 points on an efficient 6-of-9 shooting. The Australian hauled down six rebounds and finished with a plus-minus of 11.
Purdue worked the ball inside to score 32 points in the paint with much of that production coming from Caitlyn Harper. The redshirt senior went for 10 points, four rebounds one steal and one block in 28 minutes of work.
The Boilermakers shot 48.2% from the field but went 3-of-18 from behind the arc. Purdue finished 5-of-6 at the line with all free throw attempts coming in the final minute of the game.
Ellis and Lasha Petree spurred Purdue to an early 10-5 lead, going a combined 4-of-4 to start the game with Ellis’ two makes coming from behind the arc. The Boilermakers went 7-of-14 from the field to take a 16-11 lead after the first. Rickie Woltman added the final points of the quarter on a tip in at the buzzer.
Following a quick 3-pointer from Petree to start the second, Harper and Ellis combined for six straight points to put Purdue ahead by 12. The Boilermakers’ defense held Illinois to just 28.6% shooting and 1-of-12 from behind the arc over the first 20 minutes. A tough finish by Ellis at the rim for her 10th point in the first half gave the Boilermakers a 35-25 lead at the break.
Illinois opened the third quarter on a five-point run, before Ellis silenced the crowd with a step-back triple. That proved to be the closest the Illinois would get for the remainder of the game. Terry took over to score six points of Purdue’s 10 points over the final five minutes, including a fadeaway jumper to end the period with Purdue ahead 49-37.
Jayla Smith and Terry extended Purdue’s lead to 14 early in the fourth on back-to-back layups. Illinois rolled off six straight points as it kept Purdue off the board until an Ellis jumper to beat the shot clock with 3:54 to go. Harper’s layup with 2:15 on the clock was the Boilermakers’ final field goal, as Madison Layden went 3-of-4 and Ellis went 2-of-2 at the line to seal the win.
• Purdue leads the all-time series with Illinois 65-18, the most wins the Boilermakers against a single opponent.
• Purdue is now 4-2 when Illinois is ranked. The last ranked win came on Jan. 20, 2000, when the Illini were ranked 13th.
• The Boilermakers held an opponent to 19 made field goals for the second straight game and third time this season.
• Cassidy Hardin finished with two points on just her 32nd career 2-pointer.
• Layden finished the game with nine points and five rebounds.
• Hardin matched her season high with a trio of assists.
• Despite allowing 11 offensive rebounds, Purdue kept the Illini to just 10 second-chance points.
• Purdue’s last ranked win came against No. 17 Florida State on No. 21, 2021, at the St. Pete Showcase.
The road trip continues against the Boilermakers’ second straight ranked opponent as they head to No. 2 Ohio State on Sunday for a 2 p.m. tip at Value City Arena. The game will be streamed on B1G+.