Leading by one point with 17 seconds remaining, the Purdue women’s basketball team came up with one final stop, sophomore Tamara Farquhar grabbed her career-high 18th rebound and calmly knocked down a pair of free throws to seal a 57-54 victory at Northwestern on Sunday. The win is the third straight for the Boilermakers and their first road win of the conference season, improving to 13-5 overall and 4-1 in Big Ten play.
Farquhar finished with eight points, 18 rebounds, a steal and a block, matching the No. 14 single-game rebounding total in program history. Junior Ae’Rianna Harris notched her seventh double-double of the season, finishing with a game-high 16 points, 11 rebounds and four blocked shots, and junior Dominique Oden and sophomore Karissa McLaughlin dropped in 12 points and four assists apiece. Oden set a new career-high with five steals, and freshman Kayana Traylor had six points and a team-high five assists.
The Boilermakers shined in the first half, building a 33-22 lead behind 10 points from McLaughlin and an impressive defensive effort that held the Wildcats to 30.3 percent shooting, including 3-of-17 in the second quarter. Purdue’s lead grew to 13 over the first five minutes of the second half on the strength of buckets from Traylor and Harris, but Northwestern refused to go quietly.
The Wildcats whittled away at Purdue’s lead, finishing the third on a 9-2 run to make it 45-39 going to the fourth quarter, and cut the lead to three on five different occasions in the final 10 minutes. The Purdue lead shrank to one, 55-54, on a jumper by sophomore Lindsay Pulliam with 17 seconds left, and the Boilermakers turned it over on the ensuing possession to give the Wildcats one last attempt. Pulliam’s baseline jumper with four seconds left rattled out and Farquhar secured the board and the win.
Northwestern fell to 9-7 overall and 2-3 in conference play, suffering their first home loss of the Big Ten schedule, despite 15 points and four assists from Pulliam and 13 points and 14 rebounds from senior Pallas Kunaiyi-Akpanah. Purdue topped Northwestern on the boards 40-37, and converted 14 offensive rebounds into 14 second-chance points.
The Boilermakers are tied for second in the conference standings, matching No. 9 Maryland and No. 25 Indiana at 4-1, and travel to Big Ten leader Rutgers on Wednesday for a 7 p.m. ET tip at the RAC. Rutgers leads the conference at 5-0, is undefeated at home on the season (8-0) and has won eight straight heading into the game.