2001 NCAA Women's Tourney
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Not enough time

LSU's rally from 24 down falls short at Purdue

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Posted: Sunday March 18, 2001 11:27 PM
Updated: Monday March 19, 2001 12:20 AM

  Erika Varek Purdue's Erika Valek was a perfect 3-for-3 from outside the 3-point arc. AP

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (AP) -- Purdue got even with Louisiana State in a big way Sunday night.

Katie Douglas scored 21 points as Purdue held off LSU 73-70 in the second round of the Mideast Regional.

The third-seed Boilermakers (28-6) avenged a 62-55 loss to LSU in December and erased the sting of last year's second-round home loss to Oklahoma.

Purdue, in the round of 16 for the fifth time in eight years, will play second-seeded Texas Tech on Saturday in Birmingham, Ala. The Lady Raiders beat Virginia Tech 73-52 on Sunday.

LSU, which trailed by 24 in the first half, was down 71-70 with 32.8 seconds left after Marie Ferdinand's free throws.

A full-court press gave Purdue fits as it tried to get across midcourt. But Douglas was fouled by Angelina Crockett as she just barely got off a shot as the shot-clock expired. Douglas made both free throws for a 73-70 lead.

"I was just talking to myself, telling myself it was just any other free throw," Douglas said. "That's the kind of adversity you face in tough games. I was happy just to step up and knock 'em."

With one last chance, Ferdinand turned the ball over as she double-dribbled just past midcourt.

LSU nearly pulled of a repeat of its comeback against Purdue in December where the Lady Tigers (20-11) trailed by 16 in the first half and won.

"We used it as a big learning experience," Purdue coach Kristy Curry said. "When LSU kept coming at us and kept pressuring us and things weren't going our way, we quit playing scared like we did in the first game. We played to win. We had the lead the whole game and didn't want to revert back to our December ways."

Ferdinand, who matched a career-high with 34 points, led an LSU run that saw the Tigers slowly chip away at the lead. Her 3-pointer five minutes into the second half made it a 14-point deficit. But she was sent to the bench with her fourth foul with 12:47 to go and Purdue leading 58-44.

With Ferdinand on the bench, the Lady Tigers rallied to 61-53 with 8:07 left. Ferdinand returned, and her two free throws with 3:25 to go made it 70-64.

Ferdinand mumbled a few words in the postgame press conference than put her head in her shoulders and broke down in tears.

Three LSU starters, Ferdinand, Ke-Ke Tardy and DeTrina White, all played with four fouls in the final three minutes. White finished with 13 points and 15 rebounds, and Tardy had 11 rebounds.

"We dug ourselves and 10-foot hole and only had a 9-foot ladder," LSU coach Sue Gunter said. "In the second half, you couldn't ask them to play any harder than they did. We just ourselves in a deficit that was just too much to overcome."

Both teams started strong and Ferdinand's jumper at 14:41 in the first half evened the score at 14.

Then LSU, which advanced to the round of 16 in 1997, 1999 and 2000, missed its next 13 shots, while Purdue went 10-of-15 and built leads of 37-14 and 41-17.

Douglas scored eight points and Camille Cooper, who scored 13, had six.

"It didn't seem like we could miss for a while. That's we needed to do was step up and assert ourselves early," Douglas said.

Erika Valek was 3-of-3 from 3-point range and Purdue shot 60 percent for a 48-31 halftime lead.


 
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