Bruins End Tournament Run
March 21, 2006
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (AP) - Purdue's suffocating defense overcame UCLA's high-powered guards to earn the Boilermakers a trip to the Sweet 16.
Katie Gearlds scored 15 points and Erin Lawless and Lindsay Wisdom-Hylton added 14 apiece as Purdue beat UCLA 61-54 in the second round of the women's NCAA tournament on Tuesday night.
Nikki Blue had 18 points and five assists and Lisa Willis added 15 points for the Bruins.
UCLA took a 53-49 lead on a Lindsey Pluimer basket with 7:21 to go, but the Bruins didn't make another basket the rest of the way. UCLA, ranked in the top 10 nationally in scoring offense, tied a season low by shooting 32.3 percent from the field.
Purdue didn't make a field goal for the last 3:03, but hit six free throws in the final minute to pull away. The Boilermakers outscored the Bruins 14-4 from the line.
Purdue (26-6) earned its third trip in four years to the regional semifinals, and will face top-seeded and top-ranked North Carolina in Cleveland on Sunday.
UCLA's self-titled triple threat backcourt of Willis, Blue and Noelle Quinn shot a combined 16-for-49 as Purdue snapped the Bruins' six-game winning streak.
UCLA (21-11) missed its first six shots, but Purdue shot poorly enough to give the Bruins time to get settled. UCLA took a 12-6 lead on a Chinyere Ibekwe basket, but Katie Gearlds scored six points during a 13-2 run that gave the Boilermakers a 19-14 lead.
UCLA responded with a 12-2 run during which five players scored as the Bruins took a 26-21 lead on a 3-pointer by Lisa Willis with 1:12 left in the first half.
Gearlds made a 3-pointer with 26 seconds left in the first half to cut UCLA's lead to 26-24 at the break.
UCLA shot 32 percent in the first half and Purdue shot 27 percent. UCLA's triple-threat backcourt shot a combined 8-for-23 from the field in the first half.
UCLA shot better from 3-point range than from inside the arc. The Bruins made 8 of 21 3-pointers and 13 of 44 2-pointers.