12:00 PM ET, March 2, 2007
INDIANAPOLIS -- Katie Gearlds was too much for Wisconsin to handle -- again.The senior guard scored 26 points and Purdue (No. 14 ESPN/USA Today; No. 15 AP) escaped with an 82-79 overtime win over Wisconsin in the Big Ten tournament quarterfinals on Friday.Gearlds shot 8-for-18 from the field and 8-for-8 from the free-throw line in another big game against the Badgers. She scored 41 points in Purdue's 69-60 win on Feb. 18 in Madison.She also opened things up for freshman point guard FahKara Malone, who had 13 points, eight assists, seven rebounds and five steals for the Boilermakers (26-5). Purdue advances to a semifinal Sunday against Michigan State (No. 23 ESPN/USA Today; No. 22 AP), which beat Minnesota 77-68."In the second half and overtime, she [Malone] got inside us," Wisconsin coach Lisa Stone said. "We had to stick to Gearlds, and it gave her [Malone] a driving lane. She's quick and she's a great leader for them."The loss put Wisconsin (19-12) in danger of missing the NCAA Tournament.Jolene Anderson scored 27 points for Wisconsin but made a critical mistake late in overtime.In the final minute of the extra period, Malone missed the second of two free throws and a jump ball gave Wisconsin, down 80-77, a chance to tie in the closing seconds.Purdue's defensive pressure forced Wisconsin out of its comfort zone, and Anderson, instead of going for the tie, made a driving layup with two seconds left to cut Purdue's lead to 80-79.Gearlds was fouled and made two free throws at the other end with 1.2 seconds left to bump Purdue's lead to 82-79. Wisconsin took the ball out under its basket and never got off a shot to tie.Stone said though the play was designed to create a 3-point shot, she wouldn't blame Anderson for the loss."There are more plays to the game than that one," Stone said. "That is not the reason we lost the game. I stand behind my team and a great player in Jolene Anderson."Anderson said she knew what she was doing."You'd just rather score," Anderson said. "I felt like if we took a three and I missed, it does us no good. We were still losing, but it [the layup] gave us an opportunity win the basketball game at that point."Gearlds said Malone defended Anderson well on the play."Being up three points, it was like, 'Just don't give up a 3,' and I thought FahKara did a great job bodying up on her," Gearlds said. "She hit a great shot, but fortunately for us, there was only two seconds left."Erin Lawless had 15 points and 10 rebounds for the Boilermakers.Janese Banks scored 14 of her 16 points after halftime for the Badgers, but Anderson and Banks shot a combined 13-for-40 from the field.Stone said her team's approach was that it needed to win the tournament to claim an NCAA bid. The Badgers hadn't beaten a ranked team all season.Purdue led 39-31 at halftime, but Wisconsin opened the second half with a 15-4 run. Two 3-pointers by Anderson helped even the score, and Brittany Heins made a 3-pointer with 15:38 left to give Wisconsin a 46-43 lead.Purdue led 66-61 when Wisconsin's Mariah Dunham got a friendly bounce on a runner and was fouled. She converted the free throw to trim Purdue's lead to 66-64 with 2:57 left.Purdue led 68-64 when Lindsay Wisdom-Hylton committed her fifth foul. The resulting free throws by Anderson cut Purdue's lead to 68-66 with 51.4 seconds to go.On the next possession, Gearlds missed a fadeaway as the shot clock wound down, and the ball went off a Purdue player to give Wisconsin possession with 15.7 seconds left. Anderson scored on a drive with 10 seconds left to force the extra period.Stone said she looks forward to continuing the season, whether it's in the NCAA or WNIT tournament."The best part of it is we're not finished playing," she said. "We've been here many times when we lost and we were done."
Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press
Team Stat Comparison
|FG Made-Attempted||27-66 (.409)||30-60 (.500)|
|3P Made-Attempted||7-18 (.389)||4-9 (.444)|
|FT Made-Attempted||18-19 (.947)||18-23 (.783)|
|Fouls (Tech/Flagrant)||19 (0/0)||16 (0/0)|