Thursday was not a good day for the higher seeds in the Big Ten women's basketball tournament.
The Nebraska women, seeded sixth, were unable to snap the trend in the nightcap, falling 75-71 against 11th-seeded Purdue at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.
The loss ends the Huskers' season at 14-16.
"The big message for us is to bottle up this feeling," NU coach Amy Williams said on her postgame radio show. "It's a really disappointing way to end your season, and just to bottle that up and use that as motivation in the offseason."
Nebraska, which trailed most of the game, didn't go away without a fight. After trailing by 13 after three quarters, freshman Sam Haiby heated up, and Hannah Whitish pulled the Huskers to within 69-68 on a three-pointer with 1 minute, 56 seconds remaining.
But the Huskers couldn't stop Purdue, particularly on the offensive glass, where the Boilermakers took control.
After Whitish's three, Dominique Oden grabbed an offensive rebound on a three-point attempt that hit the front of the rim and got the put-back to give Purdue a three-point lead. After an empty Husker possession, Purdue went to Ae'Rianna Harris, who scored two more points. The Boilermakers, who lost twice to the Huskers during the regular season, were able to close out the win.
Purdue (19-14) finished with 17 offensive rebounds. Sophomore Tamara Farquhar has seven, Harris had five and Oden had four.
"You give as many offensive rebounds as we did tonight, it's disappointing," Williams said. "We watched them get 18 offensive rebounds yesterday (against) Illinois. We knew if we wanted to win, we needed to rebound (and) we did not take care of that stat today."
Oden finished with 20 points, and Harris had 13 points and 14 rebounds. Sophomore Taylor Kissinger led the Huskers with 15 points.
A 9-0 run at the end of the first quarter set the tone for Purdue, and the Boilermakers led most of the game.
The Huskers trailed by as many as 14 points in third quarter, and at one point late in the third, had zero points from Haiby and Maddie Simon.
But Haiby got going in the fourth quarter, and Nebraska started to hit some threes.
Back-to-back threes from Haiby and Whitish cut the lead to 64-57 with 6:21 remaining. Purdue scored four quick points to push the lead back to double digits before NU made a final push.
Kissinger hit a a three-pointer, and Simon scored after a Purdue turnover. A corner three from Kissinger cut the lead to 69-65 with 2:45 remaining, and then Whitish trimmed the lead to one before Purdue's strong finish.
Haiby scored 10 of her 12 points in the final quarter, and NU finished with 11 three-pointers.
"Sammy did a fantastic job of just staying in the flow and really being aggressive in that second half," Williams said. "It's very, very easy and particularly when you're a freshman, a young player, when you go 0-for-6 in the first half of a ballgame to kind of crawl into a hole. I thought she did a great job of really staying aggressive and sparking that comeback."
There were four games played Thursday in Indianapolis, and the lower seed won each game. Ninth-seeded Michigan State beat eighth-seeded Northwestern, 10th-seeded Indiana beat seventh-seeded Minnesota and 13th-seeded Wisconsin knocked off fifth-seeded Ohio State.
Michigan State, Indiana and Purdue were, however, higher in the RPI rankings.