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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - The fifth-seeded Purdue women's basketball team rallied from 17 points down early in the third quarter to knock off fouth-seeded Indiana 66-60 in the quarterfinals of the Big Ten Tournament at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on Friday. The Boilermakers outscored the Hoosiers 42-21 in the second half and came back behind a career-high 24-point effort from freshman Dominique Oden as Purdue advances to face top-seeded Ohio State tomorrow (Saturday) at 4 p.m. ET.
The first half was all Hoosiers as they hit 50 percent from the field and six-of-12 from 3-point range to race out to a 15-point halftime edge, 39-24. Junior Tyra Buss hit four-of-seven from deep on her way to 14 points, while classmate Amanda Cahill added two 3's and 10 points. Purdue managed to hit just 10-of-30 from the floor, while committing six turnovers in the half.
Indiana came out and hit the first bucket of the second half, taking their largest lead at 41-24, but the Boilermaker defense stood tall the rest of the quarter, holding them to two-of-17 shooting (.118) and mounted a 14-0 run to dice the lead down to two points, 45-43 at the end of the third. Oden drained a pair of triples in the quarter, while senior Ashley Morrissette added five points and junior Andreona Keys had a pair of huge Boilermaker steals. Sophomore Nora Kiesler was integral in the comeback, protecting the rim with a pair of blocks and anchoring Purdue's defensive efforts.
The Boilermakers were unable to get over the hump throughout most of the fourth quarter, tying things up at 47-47 on a Morrissette 3-pointer at the 7:09 mark, and keeping things close, but it seemed that every time Purdue looked to take the lead, Indiana responded. IU went up by four on two different occasions, but both times the Boilermakers reeled them in with layups from Oden and senior Bridget Perry. Trailing 55-52 with 2:11 left, sophomore Dominique McBryde sparked a 7-0 Purdue run, capped by an assist from McBryde to Oden for her fifth 3-pointer and a 59-55 lead. The Hoosiers tried to keep pace with fouls down the stretch, but Purdue cashed in seven-of-eight in the final minute to earn the victory.
Oden's 24 points is the most ever by a Purdue freshman at the Big Ten Tournament, while her five triples match her career high. Morrissette joined her over 20 points with 21, while Perry joined them in double figures with 11 and added a team-high eight boards.
Purdue held Buss and Cahill to two and four points, respectively in the second half as the juniors finished with 16 and 14, while senior Alexis Gassion added 14 points and 13 rebounds. The Hoosiers finish up the season at 20-10 and await word of postseason bids.
The Boilermaker look to avenge a five-point loss in Mackey Arena tomorrow after improving to 21-11 overall on the season. The game will air live on the Big Ten Network.