No. 3 Purdue advances to face No. 6 LSU
Updated: Saturday March 17, 2001 11:57 AM
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (AP) -- Even when the Purdue Boilermakers struggle to score, they can count on their defense.
Purdue made 21 steals, harassed UC Santa Barbara into 24 turnovers and got 23 points from Camille Cooper to hold off the Gauchos 75-62 Friday night in the first round of the Mideast Regional.
The score was tied midway through the second half before the Boilermakers finally wore UC Santa Barbara down with a relentless full-court press.
"We made that run in the second half by getting a couple of steals and a couple of layups," All-American Katie Douglas said. "We didn't shoot very well, but we pressured them into a lot of decisions they did not want to make. It was reflected in their turnovers. That was a pretty awesome job."
Purdue will play Louisiana State, which beat Arizona State 83-66, in the second round Sunday. The Tigers beat Purdue 62-55 on Dec. 16.
The Boilermakers held a seven-point lead early in the second half against Santa Barbara after Douglas' 3-pointer. But the Gauchos rallied to tie it at 39 on Jessica Hansen's jumper.
Douglas hit another 3 to give Purdue (27-6) a 42-39 edge, but Santa Barbara's Nicole Greathouse tied it again with a 3-pointer on the ensuing possession.
Shalicia Hurn's layup with just more than 10 minutes left made it 44-42, and the Boilermakers took over from there.
Purdue clamped down on defense as the Gauchos (22-9) could not solve its full-court press. Douglas had six steals, Erika Valek had four, and Hurns and Cooper each had three.
Purdue opened another seven-point lead when Kelly Komara, who scored 14 points, swooped in and put back Cooper's missed free throw.
Two possessions later, Komara made a steal and went the length of the court for an easy basket and a 56-47 lead.
The Gauchos never got closer than seven points the rest of the way.
"I thought the last 10 minutes of the game, we played as hard as we have all year on both ends of the floor. There was a sense of urgency. It is survive and advance," Purdue coach Kristy Curry said.
They Boilermakers survived despite shooting only 39 percent. Douglas was scoreless in the first half, but she finished with 14 points and nine rebounds.
Lindsay Taylor had 12 points and 11 rebounds to give the Gauchos a 41-37 edge on the boards. Greathouse and Kayte Christensen led Santa Barbara with 13 points each.
Purdue, which lost at home in the second round of the tournament last year, trailed 20-14 early in the first half. An 18-8 run gave the Boilermakers a 32-28 halftime lead.
"It was kind of exciting for a while," UC Santa Barbara coach Mark French said. "It's what the NCAA tournament is supposed to be about. We withstood a couple of real runs by Purdue where the crowd really got into it. We came back strong and made it close in the second half."
The Boilermakers were 24-of-35 from the free-throw line, and the
Gauchos made nine of 14 attempts.