6:00 PM ET, March 8, 2008
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -- Danielle Campbell scored 20 points, and Purdue overcame an early 17-point deficit to beat Iowa 80-73 in the Big Ten tournament semifinals Saturday at Conseco Fieldhouse.Freshman forward Keshia Mosley scored a career-high 18 points, Kalika France had 16 points and 10 rebounds and FahKara Malone had 15 points and five steals for the third-seeded Boilermakers, who earned the right to defend their championship.Kristi Smith led second-seeded Iowa with 19 points and seven assists. Johanna Solverson had 16 points and nine rebounds before leaving late in the second half with a knee injury.Iowa (21-10) likely will get an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament on the strength of its record and regular-season share of the conference title. Purdue (17-14) likely needs a tournament title to make it. The Boilermakers have qualified each year since 1994.Purdue will play either No. 5 seed Michigan State or No. 9 seed Illinois in the conference title game. It will be the first time since 2003 that the top two seeds failed to reach the final.Iowa opened up a 46-39 lead early in the second half after Solverson hit a 3-pointer that bounced off the backboard and scored again on a drive to the hoop.Purdue countered with a 9-2 run. The Boilermakers tied the score at 48 on a baseline jumper by France with just under 15 minutes to play.Purdue took its first lead, 52-51, on a mid-range jumper by Lakisha Freeman with 13 minutes left.The lead seesawed for several minutes until Purdue went on a 10-0 run, highlighted by a steal and layup by Malone, to take a 69-62 lead with five minutes to play.Iowa went 7:30 without a field goal as Purdue built its lead. By the time Wendy Ausdemore made a 3-pointer to end the drought with 46 seconds to play, Purdue led 77-68.Iowa made 11 of its first 17 shots to take a 28-13 lead. Smith made 3 of 3 3-pointers during that stretch.Purdue rallied behind France and Mosley. France scored a bucket, converted a 3-point play, then scored on a steal and layup. Mosley followed with a jump hook in the lane and a 3-point play to conclude a 12-2 run that chopped Iowa's lead to 30-25. Iowa held on to lead 38-35 at halftime. The Hawkeyes shot 59 percent in the first half, but committed 13 turnovers.