HONOLULU -- Jayne Appel described her first half with one word: "ugly." The rest of the game, however, couldn't have looked better.
Appel scored eight straight points in overtime to lift Stanford (No. 6 ESPN/USA Today, No. 5 AP) to a 78-70 victory over Purdue (No. 23, No. 19) on Friday in the Waikiki Beach Marriott Classic.
"Like coach says, 'It's not how you start, it's how you finish," said Appel, who finished with 26 points, 16 rebounds, four steals and two blocks.
Nnemkadi Ogwumike added 17 points and six rebounds and Jeanette Pohlen had 13 points for the Cardinal (4-1).
The Cardinal on Saturday will face Iowa State, which earlier beat Prairie View A&M 75-59 in the six-team tournament. The Boilermakers will take on host Hawaii.
Appel, just 2-of-11 from the field in the first half, scored six straight points to tie the game 63-63 in regulation, and freshman Kayla Pedersen's layin gave Stanford a 65-63 lead. But Lakisha Freeman's free throws tied it with 43 seconds remaining.
Freeman led Purdue (3-1) with 17 points. Lindsay Wisdom-Hylton had 15 points, including 13 in the second half, to go with nine rebounds and four blocks.
Brittany Rayburn hit three of four 3-pointers to keep Purdue in the game and finished with 13 points. Purdue was 9-of-20 from 3-point range, while Stanford made just four of its 19 attempts.
Stanford's Jillian Harmon appeared to have made a buzzer-beater in regulation. With 1.4 seconds left on the clock, Harmon caught a long pass down the court near the free-throw line. She went right, turned and hoisted a shot that resembled Christian Laettner's famous game-winner for Duke against Kentucky in 1992.
But referees met for a couple minutes and ruled the shot didn't count, sending the game to overtime tied at 65. Officials didn't have a replay monitor to rely on.
Both coaches agreed the shot looked good but that the referees made the right call since they didn't have a monitor.
"They should've had a monitor there to help them," Stanford coach Tara VanDerveer said. "With this level of play with so much at stake, they should've had a monitor."
Harmon's reverse layup sparked a 11-4 run that put the Cardinal ahead 44-36 with 13:40 left, but the Boilermakers kept coming back.
Rayburn's 15-foot bank shot tied the game at 53 and charged up Purdue's fans.
The Boilermakers went on a 13-4 run and took their largest lead of the game, 63-57, on Natasha Bogdanova's 3-pointer with 5:03 left. But they couldn't get a basket down the stretch and turned the ball over several times as Stanford stepped up its defensive pressure.
"You have to score at least one or two buckets in the last four minutes and we didn't do that very well, obviously," Purdue coach Sharon Versyp said. "But we were still right there. We still had an opportunity."
Versyp said she was pleased with how well her team played against one of the top teams in the country.
"I feel really good about our team. We've got to learn a lot and sometimes a disheartening loss like this, you learn a lot more from than maybe winning it," she said.
The Cardinal had a terrible start. They looked hesitant and out-of-sync, going 1-of-12 from the field and turning it over four times in the first 5 minutes.
"You have to come out with a new mindset in the second half and try to keep doing what you're doing," Appel said. "They have to fall sometime."
Stanford finally got its shots to fall and went on a 15-1 run to take a 19-13 lead behind six points by Ogwumike, including a layup off a feed by Melanie Murphy that tied the game at 13.
Pohlen's 3-pointer gave Stanford a 31-24 lead at the half.
Rosalyn Gold-Onwude started at point guard for JJ Hones who is out for the season after tearing her ACL in Sunday's 81-47 win against Rutgers. Gold-Onwude struggled, missing all five field-goal attempts, including four 3-point tries.
She finished with a point, two steals, two rebounds in 22 minutes.
"We're really trying to find ourselves after losing our point guard," VanDerveer said. "I saw some good things and I saw some things that wouldn't have happened with JJ. But we're moving on."