No. 2 Ohio St. 63, No. 12 Purdue 60
March 6, 2006
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - Marscilla Packer's 3-pointer with 38.4 seconds left helped No. 2 Ohio State stave off Purdue's frantic second-half comeback and the Buckeyes claimed their first Big Ten tournament title with a 63-60 on Monday night.
Since 2001, the tournament's title game has been decided by six points or less, including three or fewer in 2002, 2003, 2004 and 2006.
Jessica Davenport led the Buckeyes (28-2) with 17 points and 14 rebounds, while Brandie Hoskins added 16 and Packer 15 in a wild game. By winning its 19th straight game, Ohio State also earned the conference's automatic bid to the NCAA tournament and may have solidified a No. 1 seed.
Hoskins was named the tournament's Most Outstanding Player, marking the first time a Buckeye has received the honor. She also earned a spot on the All-Tournament team for the second straight year.
With the score tied at 60, Packer hit a 3 from the left wing to give Ohio State the victory.
It almost didn't happen, though. No. 12 Purdue (24-6), which trailed 36-19 at halftime and by 17 early in the second half, rallied behind its strong 3-point shooting. The Boilermakers hit seven 3s in the second half, including five straight, to get back in the game. But Sharika Webb, who had 10 points, missed two 3s in the closing seconds that could have forced overtime.
Erin Lawless led the Boilermakers with 17 points and 10 rebounds, while Katie Gearlds added 14 points.
The Buckeyes jumped to their big lead behind the solid inside-outside combination of Hoskins and Davenport. That tandem helped them take control with an early 14-4 run, and Ohio State closed the half on a 17-4 spurt to build a 36-19 lead.
But mild-mannered Purdue coach Kristy Curry jump-started her team by drawing a technical with 1:15 left in the half.
The Boilermakers responded in the second half.
Trailing 39-22, Webb, Gearlds and Jodi Howell combined on five straight 3s to get the Boilermakers within 43-39 with 13:15 left. They finally took a 53-51 lead when Lawless hit a 3 with 6:43 left.
The Boilermakers were trying to win their third tourney title in four years.