(10) Purdue 81

(8-2, 3-2 away)

Butler 38

(2-7, 2-3 home)

    3:00 PM ET, December 10, 2006

    1 2 T
    #10PUR 35 4681
    BUT 14 2438

    Gearlds breaks out of slump as Purdue rolls

    INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -- Even a layup is a confidence-builder for Katie Gearlds these days.

    Purdue's leading scorer broke out of a four-game shooting slump with 20 points on Sunday, leading the Boilermakers (No. 9 ESPN/USA Today; No. 10 AP) to an 81-38 victory over Butler.

    "I made two jump shots; the rest were layups," Gearlds said. "I was still missing a lot of outside shots, but it'll come. I don't worry about it."

    The 20 points by Gearlds were her most since she had 23 in a victory over Baylor in the WNIT championship. She was 8-for-15 from the field after shooting just 25 percent the previous four games. Lindsay Wisdom-Hylton was 11-for-12 and scored a season-high 24 points for the Boilermakers.

    "I just kind of had an on-night," Wisdom-Hylton said. "I was able to get some good shots in the paint and they just were falling for me. Coach said from the beginning we need to get it inside and be aggressive and take it to them.".

    Purdue (8-2) forced a season-high 28 turnovers by the Bulldogs (2-7), broke the game open with a 20-0 run from late in the first half to early in the final period and built the lead to as many as 45 points down the stretch.

    "We felt we had something to prove because we didn't show up at Notre Dame," Gearlds said of a 67-58 loss to the Irish earlier in the week. "It was very, very embarrassing."

    It was Butler that was embarrassed by poor shooting this time.

    The Bulldogs, unable to take the ball inside against the taller Boilermakers, shot mainly from 3-point range early in the game and managed only one field goal over the final 10 minutes of the first half.

    "We kind of figured after the Notre Dame loss, they would have a different attitude, and they did," Butler coach Beth Couture said.

    "We really felt we had some open looks in the first half ... but when you score 14 points in the first half, you struggle."

    Butler's only basket from inside the 3-point line in the opening period was on a layup by Lade Akande, cutting Purdue's lead to 22-14. Wisdom-Hylton then hit one of two free throws and FahKara Malone stole the ball and scored on a fast break to start a 13-0 Purdue run over the final 7 minutes of the half.

    Baskets by Erin Lawless and Gearlds pushed the lead to 29-14, then Wisdom-Hylton scored the final six points of the half to give the Boilermakers a 35-14 lead. Two free throws by Lawless, a basket and free throw by Gearlds and another basket by Gearlds after a steal by Malone completed the 20-point run by the Boilermakers in the first minute of the second half.

    Malone, a freshman guard, had six of Purdue's season-high 17 steals. Gearlds and Wisdom-Hylton had four steals each, and the 6-foot-2 Wisdom-Hyton blocked three shots.

    "She's just really good," Couture said. "She can shoot off the pass, step back on a fade-away and she gets after the boards."

    Butler, which shot only 17 percent in the first half and 28 percent for the game, was led by Ellen Hamilton with 12 points, all on 3-pointers, and Akande with eight points.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    2006-07 Season

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