WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Rachel Banham scored 27 points for the Gophers women’s basketball team — including 22 in the second half — but it wasn’t enough against Purdue.
The Boilermakers stayed unbeaten in the Big Ten play with an 84-72 victory over the Gophers on Thursday night at Mackey Arena.
Freshman Dominique McBryde led Purdue (14-2, 5-0) with a season-high 22 points and eight rebounds. Three teammates also scored in double figures as the Boilermakers won their ninth game in a row and took sole possession of first place in the conference after Ohio State’s loss to Northwestern.
Besides Banham, Carlie Wagner was the only other Gopher in double figures with 21 points. Karley Barnes had 11 rebounds but no points.
The Gophers (10-6, 2-3) won two of three games against Purdue last season, including an 81-68 win Jan. 1 in West Lafayette — their first there in nine years.
Minnesota’s hopes for its second consecutive win at Mackey Arena dimmed early.
The Boilermakers went on a 13-0 run to take a 20-7 lead. Wagner finally made a layup with 2:01 left in the opening quarter.
The Gophers’ shooting woes only got worse. They went 3-for-16 from the field in the second quarter and had only one basket in the first 7:03.
The home team shot only slightly better in the same quarter (4-for-17), so its halftime lead was only 36-24.
It grew to as many as 18 points at 44-26 early in the third quarter. But then Banham got hot and scored 16 points in the third to get the Gophers within 53-49.
Shayne Mullaney’s three-pointer early in the fourth cut the Boilermakers’ lead to 55-54. Purdue responded with a 9-0 run and the Gophers never got close again.