WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -- Katie Gearlds scored 28 points and Erin Lawless added 18 to help No. 15 Purdue beat Iowa 76-52 Thursday night.
The two seniors closed their home careers in style. Gearlds made 11 of 20 shots from the field in her first game since scoring a school-record 41 points at Wisconsin. Lawless had career highs of 13 rebounds and five steals and notched her second double-double of the season. Both received standing ovations when they left the game with just under three minutes remaining.Kristi Smith led Iowa with 11 points, but was held scoreless in the second half.Purdue (24-5, 13-2 Big Ten) lost two of its previous three home games, including a 54-52 loss to Michigan State. The Boilermakers prevented another loss by shooting 48 percent from the field.Iowa (13-15, 5-10) committed 27 turnovers. The Hawkeyes were guaranteed a losing regular season and fell to 0-6 against ranked teams.Purdue led 43-36 early in the second half before three consecutive baskets by Gearlds bumped the lead to 49-36. Purdue later went on an 8-0 run to take a 57-38 lead and led by as many as 25 points in the second half.Lawless had 14 points and seven rebounds in the first half to help Purdue take a 38-29 lead. Iowa shot 48 percent from the field but committed 15 turnovers before the break.