2:00 PM ET, January 29, 2006
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (AP) -- Purdue would just as soon forget about this win.Aya Traore scored 18 points and the eighth-ranked Boilermakers pulled away in the second half to beat Northwestern 71-63 on Sunday for their 13th straight win. Twenty-one turnovers, however, left little reason for celebration."For whatever reason, we weren't very good today," Purdue coach Kristy Curry said. "Obviously, I'm very upset."Traore added six assists but committed five turnovers for the Boilermakers (17-2, 9-0 Big Ten); Katie Gearlds had 17 points, six assists, seven rebounds and four steals, but she finished with four turnovers. The five starters combined for 16 of the 21 miscues."We're very fortunate to get the win. Let's leave it at that," said Gearlds, who had only two points at halftime. "We let it frustrate us. We're human; we're going to make mistakes, and they played their guts out."It was Purdue's 15th straight win over the Wildcats.The Boilermakers had 15 of their turnovers in the first half when Northwestern (5-15, 1-8) cut an 11-point deficit to two by repeatedly scoring off the Purdue mistakes."We talked about being very aggressive," Northwestern coach Beth Combs said. "We ran a 3-2 zone and were able to make a lot of switches."Our inside players did a good job of switching and getting in front of them."The Wildcats tied the game for the first time on a basket by A.J. Glasauer at the start of the second half, and there was one more tie before a 3-pointer by Gearlds, two free throws by Traore and a rebound basket by Lindsay Wisdom-Hylton put the Boilermakers in front for good."We knew we had to come out in the second half and turn it around or lose the game," said Wisdom-Hylton, who had 16 points and three turnovers.Purdue took a 56-47 lead on another 3-pointer by Gearlds and its biggest lead at 65-49 on her third 3-point basket minutes later. Northwestern cut the lead to 10 with just over a minute to go and Glasauer scored the final basket with 3 seconds left."To play them to an eight-point game at Mackey Arena is great for our program and the direction we want to go," Combs said. "To be able to come in and finish the way we did and to be able to get the last shot of the game is huge for us as a program."Glasauer matched her career high with 26 points, while Ifeoma Okonkwo added 17 for the Wildcats. Wisdom-Hylton finished with 16 points for Purdue.The Boilermakers never trailed but couldn't take control because of their repeated turnovers.A pair of 3-pointers by Cherelle George and a basket by Traore gave Purdue a 25-14 lead, its biggest of the first half, but the Boilermakers had five turnovers on their final six possessions of the period. Northwestern took advantage of the errors, cutting the lead to 27-23 on a 3-pointer by Sara Stutz.After another Purdue turnover, Northwestern made it 27-25 at halftime with a basket by Melissa Miller.Northwestern's 63 points were the most the Boilermakers have given up in the Big Ten this season."We will be better. I can promise you that," Curry said.