WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — After a wrenching loss like the one Nebraska absorbed Sunday at Wisconsin, a season can go one of two ways, coach Amy Williams said.

“We didn’t want to go the other way,” she said.

Her Huskers regrouped and played perhaps their best game of the season Thursday night, drilling Purdue 84-64 in Big Ten women’s basketball at Mackey Arena to drop the Boilermakers to 15-8 and 6-4 and improve their own mark to 10-11 and 5-5.

NU junior Hannah Whitish played like the preseason All-Big Ten guard she was, scoring a season-high 28 points and adding a career-high 12 assists against just one turnover. Whitish, who is shooting 34.6 percent from the floor for the season, was 6 of 10 from 3-point range, and the Huskers hit 11 shots overall from behind the arc.

“It’s fantastic to see Hannah shine, play loose and free and just have fun out there,” Williams said on the Husker Sports Network. “I thought she played probably the best game I’ve seen her play in a Husker uniform.”

Ashtyn Veerbeek played one of her best games, too. The 6-foot-2 freshman from Sioux Center, Iowa, contributed 14 points and nine rebounds in 22 minutes, many of them against Purdue’s Ae’Rianna Harris, the reigning Big Ten defensive player of the year.

Veerbeek had played just eight minutes before fouling out Sunday at Wisconsin, and the Huskers let a 10-point lead slip away in the final four minutes against the Big Ten cellar-dweller and lost on a last-second 3-pointer.

The next day, Williams said, she heard a ball bouncing in the practice gym. Veerbeek was doing full-court sprint layups.

“She’s just drenched in sweat,” Williams said. “She’s a worker. I could tell she was extremely motivated to want to bounce back. She did that in a big way.”

The Huskers raced to a 27-9 lead Thursday, but the Boilermakers narrowed the gap to 31-28 with 1:27 left in the half on a free throw by Harris.

But Veerbeek scored on a follow shot 24 seconds later, and Whitish drilled a 3 with three seconds left to push the halftime lead to eight. The Huskers dominated the third quarter, outscoring the Boilermakers 26-15.

“I thought those buckets right there at the end of the first half were very, very big,” Williams said. “Going into the halftime break up eight as opposed to up three, it’s just a huge difference.”

The Huskers held a team meeting Tuesday and “everybody kind of put ourselves out there,” Whitish said. “We just collectively decided to go into every game free, no cares, and have fun. And I think you saw that tonight.

“I think we just need to carry that over. We should be really good from here on out.”

The Huskers return to Lincoln to play Indiana at 2 p.m. Sunday at Pinnacle Bank Arena.

Nebraska (10-11, 5-5).......18 18 26 22—84

At Purdue (15-8, 6-4).........6 22 15 21—64

NU: Whitish 8-12 6-6 28, Cain 1-8 0-0 2, Kissinger 0-2 0-0 0, Mershon 1-2 0-0 2, Eliely 5-8 2-4 12, Veerbeek 7-12 0-2 14, Mitchell 1-2 0-0 2, Simon 2-9 0-0 4, Brown 3-5 1-2 7, Haiby 5-7 3-4 13. Totals 33-67 7-8 84.

PU: McLaughlin 4-13 2-2 13, Oden 6-12 4-4 18, Traylor 0-2 0-0 0, Farquhar 1-6 2-2 4, Harris 7-15 1-2 15, Stallings 0-0 0-0 0, Whilby 3-4 1-2 9, Gony 0-1 0-0 0, Diagne 2-2 0-0 4, Hardin 0-1 1-2 1. Totals 23-56 11-14 64.

3-point field goals: NU 11-27 (Whitish 6-10, Haiby 3-4, Eliely 2-4, Veerbeek 0-2, Kissinger 0-2, Brown 0-2, Simon 0-3), PU 7-18 (McLaughlin 3-8, Whilby 2-3, Oden 2-5, Farquhar 0-1, Hardin 0-1). Rebounds: NU 41 (Veerbeek 9), PU 25 (Harris 8). Assists: NU 21 (Whitish 12), PU 16 (McLaughlin 5). Turnovers: NU 10, PU 11. Total fouls: NU 15, PU 13. Fouled out: none.

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