2:00 PM ET, January 9, 2005
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (AP) -- Erin Lawless and Katie Gearlds led Purdue again, but coach Kristy Curry was pleased by a freshman's performance in Sunday's win against Michigan.Lawless had 16 points and five rebounds and Gearlds added 12 points and eight boards to lead Purdue (No. 22 ESPN/USA Today, No. 24 AP) to a 60-43 victory over Michigan, the Wolverines' seventh straight loss.Yet Lindsay Wisdom-Hylton's 11 points, six rebounds, five assists and five blocks made the difference for Purdue (10-4, 3-1 Big Ten)."She was outstanding," Curry said. "I think she's finding a comfort zone out there. I've been on her about looking to score instead of looking to pass and now she's starting to do it."Lawless had just four points in the first half as Michigan collapsed on her in the low post and dared Purdue to shoot from the outside.The Boilermakers fed their sophomore star in the second half, relentlessly dumping it to her on the low block. Lawless responded with 12 points, including a 3-pointer and a layup on consecutive possessions to give Purdue a 43-31 lead midway through the half."Coach was screaming, 'Get the ball in!' So I figured I'd better do something with it," Lawless said.Purdue scored 24 points off turnovers and held Michigan to 28 percent shooting in another stellar defensive effort.Ta'Shia Walker had 20 points and seven rebounds for Michigan (4-11, 0-4), which lost its 12th straight to Purdue.Coach Cheryl Burnett thought her team, which outrebounded Purdue 35-34, took a step in the right direction."I'm proud of our kids," Burnett said. "We did a great job of battling. To outrebound Purdue on their home floor is just outstanding."The Wolverines committed 25 turnovers and went almost eight minutes without a point in the second half as Purdue pulled away.The Boilermakers closed the game with a 15-3 run and held Tabitha Pool, Michigan's leading scorer, to 11 points on 4-of-18 shooting.With Pool on the bench after picking up her third foul early in the second half, Walker led a comeback by the Wolverines. She scored 11 of her team's first 15 points in the half, including a three-point play that brought Michigan within 45-40 with just under 8:30 to play.But she didn't get much help. While Walker was 8-for-14 from the field, her teammates were just 6-for-36.After Michigan closed the gap, the Boilermakers made a 13-0 run, capitalizing on four Michigan turnovers. Gearlds scored three straight baskets during the spurt, including a layup that gave Purdue a 54-40 lead with three minutes to play.It was the Boilermakers' fourth win in five games, setting up a pivotal Big Ten matchup with Minnesota on Thursday.