The Boilermakers win their conference-best ninth Big Ten Tournament title
HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill. – Reigning champion Purdue won its conference-best ninth Big Ten Women’s Basketball Tournament title with a 62-47 victory over fourth-seeded Michigan State (24-8). The second-seeded Boilermakers (24-8) improved to 37-10 all-time in the conference’s championship tournament and to 9-4 in the championship game.
Purdue has won Big Ten Tournament titles in 1998, 1999, 2000, 2003, 2004, 2007, 2008, 2012 and 2013. Prior to Purdue’s back-to-back titles, Ohio State was the last team to repeat as conference tournament champions in 2010 and 2011
Purdue opened the game a perfect 8-of-8 on field goal attempts and 4-of-4 from free throw line, while limiting the Spartans to 30.8 percent from the field and no free throws the same span, to jump out to a 20-8 advantage. Purdue went nearly 10 minutes into the game before missing its first field goal.
The Boilermakers continued to pour it on, outscoring the Spartans 13-6 over the final 11 minutes to take a 33-14 advantaged into the break.
Purdue shot 48.1 percent in the half, while limiting the Spartans to merely seven made field goals on 32 shots. From the 15:50 mark until 1:41 remained, MSU made one field goal on 20 attempts.
Michigan State made a game of it in the second half, closing within nine points with just under six minutes left at 46-37, but back-to-back 3-pointers by Courtney Moses in the 5-minute mark pushed the lead back to double digits where it would remain for the rest of the game.
Sixth-year senior Drey Mingo led the charge, opening the game by hitting all five of her field goals and four of her first five free throws for 14 first-half points to go along with six rebounds. She made her first shot of the second half, not missing from the field until 11:54 was left, and scored Purdue’s final four fields goals of the game. Named the Big Ten Tournament’s Most Outstanding Player, Mingo finished the contest 10-of-11 from the field for a season-high 24 points, eight boards, three blocks and a pair of steals in 32 minutes played.
Moses, who was named to the All-Tournament Team, wound up 6-of-9 from the field, including 2-of-4 from 3-point range, for 16 points to go along with five assists and a steal. KK Houser, who earned back-to-back All-Tournament Team honors, added 10 points, four rebounds and three assists in the championship game.
The Boilermakers, who finished with a 24-8 overall record, earned the automatic NCAA Tournament bid with the Big Ten Tournament title and will find out their destination and seed on Monday, March 18. The selection show will air at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN.