7:00 PM ET, December 7, 2005
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (AP) -- Purdue finally has the quality win it's been looking for.Reserve Lindsay Wisdom-Hylton scored 14 points and Katie Gearlds added 13 to help Purdue (No. 23 ESPN/USA Today; No. 24 AP) hand No. 10 Notre Dame its first loss of the season, 65-54 on Wednesday night.Purdue coach Kristy Curry had stressed that this would be Purdue's last chance to claim a quality win before Big Ten play. She said it was the kind of game that could determine whether the Boilermakers will go to the NCAA tournament.Purdue (5-2) responded by holding Notre Dame guard Megan Duffy to 12 points, six below her average. She didn't make a field goal for the first 19 minutes of the game as Purdue took a 39-22 halftime lead.The Boilermakers let an opportunity for a quality win slip in a 65-54 loss to DePaul on Saturday. They remembered that feeling on Wednesday."Coming off that loss at DePaul and not playing very good, this game was huge," Gearlds said. "The fact that that's Notre Dame ... that's an in-state rival. It was our biggest game up to this point."Duffy got going in the second half, but her team trailed by as many as 21 points."They ran a lot of people at me," she said. "They didn't leave me too often. It freed up our inside people, but we just weren't able to connect offensively."The Irish (6-1) were playing their third game without ill coach Muffet McGraw, and associate head coach Coquese Washington stepped in. Washington said Purdue's strong first half made the difference. The Boilermakers shot 48 percent from the field in the first half while holding the Irish to 29 percent."They did a good job of mixing up their defenses," she said, "but I think it was more their intensity, their effort. I think they just outplayed us and outhustled us in the first half."Notre Dame trailed 57-36 with 8:25 to play. The Irish came as close as 61-52 with 1:32 remaining, but Purdue held on with free throws from Wisdom-Hylton and Gearlds.Aya Traore scored 11 points and Erin Lawless had 11 points and 12 rebounds for Purdue, which outrebounded the Irish 47-34.Courtney Lavere scored 10 points for Notre Dame and Crystal Erwin finished with seven points and 11 rebounds.Purdue increased its series lead to 14-5. Notre Dame won 86-69 in South Bend last season when the Irish were ranked seventh.Gearlds said Wisdom-Hylton and Traore were the difference Wednesday night. She said the Irish couldn't handle their athleticism."It seemed like Lindsay had 10 points real quick, and Aya, too," she said. "They were both aggressive and knocking down shots. A lot of people can't guard both of them."Wisdom-Hylton said she didn't handle the DePaul loss well and wanted to make up for it."I kind of took it personally," she said. "I couldn't really get into the flow of that game. I was kind of upset with myself, so I wanted to come out here and show what I could do."
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