WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Consider Purdue coach Sharon Versyp convinced about where No. 8 Maryland should be slotted in the upcoming NCAA tournament after her team suffered the largest home loss to a Big Ten team in school history.
“They should be a No. 1 seed,” Versyp said after her Boilermakers lost 88-59 on Thursday.
The Terrapins (18-2, 14-1 Big Ten), who routed Purdue by 37 points on Jan. 10, moved one game closer to a third consecutive Big Ten regular-season title with their seventh consecutive victory. They can clinch a share of the title or the outright championship on Sunday.
Maryland coach Brenda Frese says her players are just focused on playing well each game after improving to 14-2 in all-time series against the Boilermakers.
“That (seeding) will take care of itself,” Frese said.
That said, freshman Angel Reese wasn’t shy about the ultimate goal after leading the Terps with 17 points and nine rebounds.
“Our main goal is to win a national championship,” Reese said.
The catalyst was playing in just her second game since being sidelined by a broken foot.
“This team has been rolling without me,” Reese said. “Whatever I have to do to help this team win, I’m willing to do.”
Purdue’s Brooke Moore, who had 13 points, summed up the Terps succinctly: “That team is really good.”
Maryland owned this one in every aspect. The Terps dominated the boards 50-26, including 26-8 in the second half. The visitors also enjoyed a 52-28 scoring edge in the paint, as well as 17-7 in fast-break points.
“Road wins are precious,” Frese said. “I thought we played hard. The effort was there.”
Maryland needed about one quarter to start pulling away as Reese hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer for a 16-9 lead after the first quarter. The Terps have just 10 players on the roster, but all eight who played early contributed scores for a 44-26 halftime lead. The margin increased to 64-41 after three quarters.
Mimi Collins and Ashley Owusu also had 13 points apiece. Faith Masonius had 10 points and eight rebounds.
Purdue (6-14, 3-13) lost its eighth consecutive game.
Kayana Traylor had 15 points for the Boilermakers, who have lost eight straight. Brooke Moore scored 13 points. Fatou Diagne had 12 points and 10 rebounds.
Maryland: Nation’s No. 1 offense entered with a 93.4-point average. The Terps are also first in 3-point field goal percentage at .420.
Purdue: Eight-game losing streak is the longest since 2014-15, when the Boilermakers lost 10 consecutive games. … Freshman G Madison Layden has had one steal in each game. … Wore pink Nike uniforms to promote breast cancer awareness for 14th consecutive year.
Maryland: At Northwestern on Sunday.
Purdue: Host Illinois on Sunday.