WEST LAFAYETTE – Indiana coach Teri Moren knows she can always count on one thing.
“As long as there is time on the clock, we are always going to be in the game,” Moren said. “The people in that locker room will not quit.”
Grace Berger scored 24 points and Aleksa Gulbe added 21 as the sixth-ranked Hoosiers rallied to beat Purdue 73-68 in overtime Sunday.
The Hoosiers (14-2, 6-0 Big Ten), who were without two starters, overcame an eight-point deficit in the final 31/2 minutes of regulation.
Tied at 60, Indiana scored the first six points of OT on 3s by Gulbe and Ali Patberg and went on to win its ninth in a row.
“We had a shot, they just made a couple more plays than we did,” Boilermakers coach Katie Gearlds said. “We needed to get stops and we didn't do that. Their big-time players made big-time plays for them down the stretch. They're (No. 6) for a reason.”
Abbey Ellis scored 19 and Brooke Moore 18 points for Purdue (11-6, 2-4). Madison Layden added 15 points but made just 5 of 15 shots.
Berger hit a short jumper in the lane to give Indiana a 60-59 lead with 8 seconds left in the fourth quarter. Berger said the play was designed for Gulbe, but she wasn't open, so Berger took the shot.
Ellis was fouled and hit the second of two free throws with 1.4 seconds left to send it into overtime.
“Abbey is a competitor and she is going to beat herself up,” said Gearlds, adding there were plenty of other plays that could have changed the outcome.
Purdue led 55-47 after Ellis sank a 3-pointer with 3:21 left in the fourth quarter. Indiana cut the lead to 57-55 on Berger's basket with 28 seconds left.
After Layden hit two free throws for Purdue, Patberg sank a 3-pointer to pull Indiana within 59-58 with 19 seconds left.
“First and foremost, we were trying to stay calm,” Berger said. “We were trying to get stops. We never gave up.”
Moren said Berger's play was big down the stretch, and Patberg hit some big shots late. Patberg was 4 of 16 from the field.
“As I said to my kids, they all had to make a play at some point, whether scoring or getting a big defensive stop or a steal,” Moren said.
The Hoosiers were without Mackenzie Holmes, who was sidelined with a knee injury for the second consecutive game. Holmes, a 6-foot-3 forward, averages a team-high 17.9 points. Kiandra Browne started in her spot.
Indiana also were without starter Nicole Cardano-Hillary, who was out because of COVID-19 protocols. Chloe Moore-McNeil made her first career start in Cardano-Hillary's place.
“It was a fantastic battle between these two teams,” Moren said. “Give Purdue credit, they gave us everything we can handle.”
Purdue led 32-27 at halftime as Moren said her team struggled offensively in the opening half.
The Hoosiers shot 43% for the game while holding Purdue to 38%
Both coaches were impressed by the crowd of more than 8,000.
“I played here for four years and I'm sure there was a student section like that,” Gearalds said. “That was big time and we fed off the energy.”