CHAMPAIGN, Illinois − Entering a stretch of three straight games against ranked opponents, including two in a span of four days, Purdue’s women’s basketball team needed that significant victory.
Thursday night at the State Farm Center, the boilermakers got it.
Led by Abbey Ellis’ 16 points and a double-double from Jeanae Terry, Purdue upset No. 22 Illinois 62-52, taking an early lead and never looking back.
The victory is the second over a ranked team as Purdue’s coach for Katie Gearlds. The Boilermakers since defeated No. 17 Florida State on Nov. 21, 2021.
It also marked Purdue’s first road win against a ranked foe since beating Maryland in 2018.
The Boilers (14-6, 5-5 Big Ten) got the victory despite some offensive struggles.
Purdue shot just 3 of 18 from 3-point range, including 0 of 10 in the second half. The boilers also overcame 15 turnovers.
The defense was strong, though, holding the Illini (16-5, 6-4) to 32.2 percent from the field, including 4 of 26 from 3. Illinois was only able to turn 11 offensive rebounds into 10 second-chance points.
Aside from Ellis’ 16 points, Terry provided 10 points and a game-high 14 rebounds. Caitlyn Harper scored 10 points and Madison Layden added nine.
Illinois was led by Makira Cook’s 19 points, as well as 10 rebounds from Layden’s high school teammate Kendall Bostic.
Purdue travels to No. 2 Ohio State for a 2 pm Sunday tip.
Sam King covers sports for the Journal & Courier. Email him at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter and Instagram @samueltking.
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