8:00 PM ET, January 12, 2006
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- Kristy Curry says her Purdue Boilermakers were "embarrassed" the last time they played Minnesota in Williams Arena.Aya Traore made them forget all about last season's 22-point loss to the Gophers on national television.Traore scored 17 of her 19 points in the second half and overtime to lead Purdue (No. 11 ESPN/USA Today; No. 12 AP) to a 60-56 victory over Minnesota (No. 14 ESPN/USA Today; No. 17 AP) in a defensive struggle between the last two unbeaten teams in the Big Ten.Traore's driving layup with a minute to go in overtime gave the Boilermakers (13-2, 5-0) the lead for good, and she added a free throw in the final seconds to put the game out of reach, giving Purdue its ninth straight victory."Personally, it does [feel great] deep down inside all of us," said Purdue's Katie Gearlds, who scored 13 points. "It makes this game feel pretty good."The Gophers (10-4, 3-1) had one last shot to tie the game in final 10 seconds, but Shannon Schonrock's 3-pointer was off the mark, giving Purdue its first win on the road over a Top 25 team in more than two years. They beat No. 23 Michigan State in East Lansing on Jan. 8, 2004, a span of eight games.Jamie Broback had 21 points on 7-of-26 shooting and 11 rebounds to lead the Gophers, who committed 24 turnovers and shot just 25 percent in the second half."We had great effort and played with great passion, but it just wasn't enough tonight," Gophers coach Pam Borton said. "The tougher team won tonight."Traore has emerged as an integral part of the Boilermakers' offense this season, averaging over 12 points a game alongside steady juniors Katie Gearlds and Erin Lawless. She led the way with 13 points in a win over Michigan on Sunday and had 23 in a victory over then-No. 7 Ohio State on Jan. 1."I'm just trying to keep my composure and let the game come to me," Traore said.That poise was needed on Thursday night, when the Boilermakers shot a season-worst 26 percent in the first half and trailed by seven with 10 minutes to play.Traore scored five straight points to put the Boilermakers ahead by three points with under 1:30 to play in regulation. But Broback converted a three-point play with 25 seconds to go to send the game to overtime tied at 49.The overtime featured four lead changes, but the Gophers' offensive struggles in the second half carried over as they lost to Purdue for the first time in four tries, and the first time at home since 2001."It's very disappointing," Schonrock said. "A lot of missed opportunities in the first half. That hurt us."Minnesota led 37-30 with 10:30 to go in regulation, but the Boilermakers responded with a 12-3 run to take their first lead of the second half.Gearlds hit a 3-pointer and Traore capped the run with two free throws to give the Boilermakers a 42-40 lead with under 5 minutes to play.Minnesota managed one field goal -- a 3-pointer by Broback -- in the 6-minute span of that run and committed turnover after turnover to keep Purdue in the game.Kelly Roysland scored 10 points for the Gophers, who lost for the second time in three games.Backup point guard Cherelle George had six steals and Lindsay Wisdom-Hylton added 12 points and nine rebounds for Purdue."They made the plays they needed to make in overtime," Borton said.The win primes the Boilermakers for a run at the Big Ten title. They have a week off before hosting Penn State and their toughest game remaining appears to be Ohio State in the next-to-last game of the conference season."We have to let it go," Curry said. "We just put a huge target on our backs, if I had to guess."
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Team Stat Comparison
|FG Made-Attempted||22-64 (.344)||22-59 (.373)|
|3P Made-Attempted||1-8 (.125)||8-19 (.421)|
|FT Made-Attempted||15-18 (.833)||8-11 (.727)|
|Fouls (Tech/Flagrant)||19 (0/0)||21 (0/0)|