WEST LAFAYETTE, Indiana (Ticker) -- Mackenzie Curless scored with 45 seconds left and Katie Douglas added two free throws as No. 4 seed Purdue opened defense of its national championship with a 70-66 East Region triumph over 13th-seeded Dartmouth.
Purdue improved to 10-3 in home NCAA Tournament games, including seven straight victories. It will face Oklahoma in the second round on Monday.
Dartmouth roared back into the contest with a 15-4 run over seven minutes, forging a 66-66 tie. Stephanie Kinnear scored all her seven points during that spurt and tied it with a free throw with 2:18 to go.
Each team missed two attempts to take the lead before Curless came through to put the Boilermakers ahead, 68-66.
Samantha Berdinka missed a tying shot for the Big Green and Shinika Parks grabbed Purdue's biggest rebound of the game. She passed to Douglas, who was fouled and made both free throws with 20 seconds left.
Camille Cooper scored 21 points and Douglas and Kelly Komora added 12 apiece for Purdue, which defeated Duke last year to win its first national title. It has not lost a first-round game since 1996.
The Boilermakers shot just 44 percent (25-of-57) from the floor but held the Big Green to 33 percent (21-of-65).
Dartmouth's Courtney Banghart extended her NCAA record for consecutive games with at least one 3-pointer to 58 but shot just 4-of-14 from beyond the arc. She scored 20 points and Jackie Lippe added 13 as the Big Green dropped to 0-4 in the tournament.
Purdue opened the game with a 30-10 spurt over the first 11:55 as Cooper scored 10 points and Komara five. Komara finished the half with 12 as the Boilermakers led, 44-31.