1:00 PM ET, February 19, 2006
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (AP) -- Cyndi Valentin made Indiana coach Sharon Versyp's emotional return to Mackey Arena a success.Valentin hit a tying 3-pointer with 5 seconds left in regulation and a pair of free throws with 3 seconds to go in overtime, giving the Hoosiers a 63-61 upset of No. 10 Purdue on Sunday. It was the first game back at Purdue as an opposing coach for Versyp, who played for the Boilermakers from 1985-88. "Coming back to Purdue brought great memories," she said. "This arena really gives me a lot of peace. I feel at home here, and I tried to exude that confidence to my players." It was the third straight overtime game between the two in-state rivals and snapped Purdue's six-game winning streak over the Hoosiers (15-10, 9-5 Big Ten). "My emotions were stepping in last night," said Versyp, who left Purdue second in career points and assists. "I never talked about it with my players, but they knew my background. "I wish I was still playing now," she said. Valentin led the Hoosiers with 25 points and overshadowed a career-high 32 by Purdue's Katie Gearlds. A 3-pointer by Valentin gave Indiana a 50-47 lead late in regulation, but Gearlds brought the Boilermakers (21-4, 12-2) within one with a pair of free throws. Lindsay Wisdom-Hylton followed with two baskets for a 53-50 lead. Purdue still led 55-52 after two free throws by Gearlds, but Valentin hit another 3-pointer on the run to send the game into overtime. There were three more ties in the extra period, the last on a layup by Gearlds with 4 seconds left. But Valentin was fouled by Cherelle George on the inbounds play and sank the winning free throws. "I think she was going for the ball and kind of got wrapped around me," Valentin said. "This win is big. We've been close, and today we showed we can finish." Nikki Smith added 12 points for Indiana, all on 3-pointers. Wisdom-Hylton scored 14 for Purdue. Purdue coach Kristy Curry took the blame for the loss, which dropped Purdue a half-game behind Ohio State (No. 7 ESPN/USA Today; No. 6 AP) in the conference race. The Buckeyes take on No. 14 Michigan State on Monday night and then play the Boilermakers on Thursday. "I told the kids, 'Let's understand that coaches win close games,"' Curry said. "I should have done a better job down the stretch -- getting us to be more aggressive, getting us to get shots to go down. ... We were too passive." Curry called the last foul "a poor decision, but it shouldn't have come down to that." Indiana used a 15-4 run to take a five-point lead midway through the opening period and widened its lead to 28-21 six minutes later, but it didn't last long. The first of four 3-pointers by Gearlds started a 13-0 streak for the Boilermakers spanning halftime. A steal by Gearlds and fast-break layup and a free throw by Aya Traore brought Purdue within one point with 2 minutes left in the first half. Gearlds' second 3-pointer a half-minute later put the Boilermakers back into the lead, and after an Indiana turnover, Wisdom-Hylton scored for a 32-28 lead at the break. "They had a run, then we had a run and it was back and forth after that," Versyp said. Valentin said the emotion surrounding Versyp's return was a factor in the Hoosiers' victory. "But playing Purdue at Purdue is motivation enough," she said.
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Team Stat Comparison
|FG Made-Attempted||24-56 (.429)||23-52 (.442)|
|3P Made-Attempted||10-14 (.714)||4-19 (.211)|
|FT Made-Attempted||5-8 (.625)||11-11 (1.000)|
|Fouls (Tech/Flagrant)||11 (0/0)||14 (0/0)|