Purdue Gets Past Illinois and Into the Semifinals

Purdue's Katie Gearlds

Purdue's Katie Gearlds

March 3, 2006

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INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - Lindsay Wisdom-Hylton had 15 points and three blocks and Aya Traore added 14 points and five assists to lead No. 14 Purdue to a 68-57 victory over Illinois in the Big Ten tournament quarterfinals on Friday night at Conseco Fieldhouse.

Erin Lawless scored 12 points and Katie Gearlds added 12 points and five assists for the Boilermakers, who won their second straight.

Janelle Hughes and Erin Wigley each scored 13 points for Illinois (15-14), which had won three of their final five games after an eight-game losing streak.

Purdue (23-5) trailed 36-35 with 15:26 to play before Traore took control. She made four baskets in just over two minutes to give the Boilermakers the lead for good.

Purdue suspended backup point guard Cherelle George indefinitely this week, but the Boilermakers committed just five turnovers.

Gearlds, Purdue's leading scorer and a first-team All-Big Ten selection, shot 4-for-14 from the field and 1-for-3 from 3-point range. She struggled in the regular season game aganst Illinois as well, shooting 4-for-14 in a 57-53 victory in Champaign, Ill.

Hughes scored the first eight points of the game, but the Illini went cold the rest of the half. Purdue made 9-of-11 shots during a 21-8 run that gave the Boilermakers a 25-16 lead. The Boilermakers forced 14 turnovers in the first half to take a 29-22 lead at the break.

Illinois outrebounded Purdue 38-21, but turned the ball over 19 times and allowed the Boilermakers to shoot 49 percent from the field.