(7) Purdue 85

(9-1, 5-1 away)

W Michigan 73

(5-5, 3-1 home)

    7:00 PM ET, December 30, 2003

    1 2 T
    #7PUR 32 5385
    WMU 42 3173

    Wright, Jones lead Boilermakers

    KALAMAZOO, Mich. (AP) -- When little else worked for Purdue (No. 8 ESPN/USA Today, No. 7 AP) on Tuesday night, Boilermakers coach Kristy Curry got desperate. So she dropped to the locker room floor at halftime and begged.

    It worked.

    Beth Jones scored 17 of her season-high 22 points in the second half and Purdue rallied from 13 points down to defeat Western Michigan 85-73 and win its eighth consecutive game.

    "I got on my knees. I didn't like the way we were doing things," Curry said. "I just begged them."

    Trailing by 10 points at halftime for the first time this season, Purdue (9-1) responded by opening up the second half with a 19-4 run, erasing the deficit in less than five minutes.

    Jones, scoring 22 points for the second time in her career, hit all three shots she took in that streak.

    "She told me she was feeling it," Curry said. "I said, 'We've got to get her the ball.'"

    They did.

    "I felt ready to play," said Jones, a senior guard who had hit two of three shots in the first half. "We had been off for six, seven days. I was ready to come back and go."

    As Purdue stormed back, consecutive 3-point baskets by Jones midway through the second half gave the Boilermakers the lead for good. Shereka Wright led Purdue with 24 points, one of four Boilermakers to reach double figures. Emily Heikes had a double-double, with 12 points and 11 rebounds.

    But for 20 minutes, Western Michigan (5-5), the Mid-American Conference's defending champion, gave Purdue all it could handle.

    Casey Rost scored 14 of her 18 points in the first half, including a 3-pointer with 5:45 left in the first half that put Western up 30-17.

    It marked the third time in four games that Purdue had trailed at halftime, which was of deep concern to Curry with the Boilermakers' Big Ten schedule beginning Friday vs. Penn State. And how many times can you beg?

    "We've got 16 more of them," Curry said. "How are they going to handle those? Shereka and Beth Jones are matching it. We've got to have five people on the floor ready to go."

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    2003-04 Season

    » Dec 30, 2003 PUR 85, @WMU 73Recap | Box Score