March 4, 2012
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - KK Houser scored 19 points to help No. 21 Purdue defeat No. 24 Nebraska 74-70 in two overtimes in the Big Ten tournament final on Sunday.
Houser, from Lincoln, Neb., also had five steals against her hometown team.
Chantel Poston had 10 points and 11 rebounds and Sam Ostarello added eight points and 10 rebounds for the fourth-seeded Boilermakers (24-8), who won the tournament for the eighth time in 17 years.
Purdue's Brittany Rayburn, who scored nine points and hit the game winner in the semifinal victory against Penn State, was named the tournament's most outstanding player.
Lindsey Moore scored 27 points and Jordan Hooper added 25 for Nebraska (24-8). The Cornhuskers had lost four of six heading into the tournament, but they averaged 82 points in their three wins to reach the final.
Nebraska won the regular-season game 93-89 in triple overtime in West Lafayette.
The Cornhuskers were trying to become the first team to win the tournament with four victories in four days. The Big Ten newcomers were also seeking their first tournament title of any kind in their new league.
Purdue led 73-70 in the closing seconds of the second overtime and Nebraska had a chance to tie, but Moore missed everything on an off-balance fadeaway 3-pointer that Poston rebounded. Poston made the second of two free throws to clinch the win for the Boilermakers.
Purdue dominated for much of the first half and led by 11 at one point, but Moore made an underhanded, off-balance bucket in the closing seconds of the first half to tie the score at 27 at the break. Hooper had 12 points and five rebounds at halftime for Nebraska while Houser had nine points at halftime for Purdue. Rayburn scored just two points in the first half and played just eight minutes because of foul trouble.
A pair of free throws by Houser put the Boilermakers up 47-41 with just more than 7 minutes to play. A steal and reverse layup by Houser made it 49-43, and another steal by Houser led to a bucket by Ostarello and pushed the lead to eight.
Nebraska wasn't ready to concede. Hooper and Moore made 3-pointers to cut Purdue's lead to 53-51 with 1:45 remaining.
Houser came back with a 3, then Nebraska's Emily Cady swished a 3 to trim Purdue's lead to 56-54 with 51 seconds to play.
Rayburn fouled Moore with 28.5 seconds remaining, and Moore made both free throws to tie the score.
With the score tied at 56 in the final seconds, Moses drove to the hoop, but Hooper blocked her shot and got the rebound, giving the Huskers 1.3 seconds. Hooper missed a desperation shot, forcing overtime.
In the first overtime, Nebraska's Kaitlyn Burke missed an open 3-pointer with 5 seconds left and the score tied. Moses' heave from near halfcourt was blocked at the buzzer, forcing the fifth overtime period between the teams this season.