Purdue Edges Indiana to Reach Semifinals

March 6, 2009

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INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -- Brittany Rayburn scored the last of her 19 points on a breakaway layup with 34.8 seconds left, sending Purdue past Indiana 68-64 in Friday's Big Ten tournament quarterfinals.

Lindsay Wisdom-Hylton finished with 17 points and 15 rebounds for the third-seeded Boilermakers (21-9), sealing the victory by making two free throws with 2.3 seconds left. And Lakisha Freeman, who hit the winning shot in last year's championship game, came up big again in the final minute by blocking Jamie Braun's 5-foot runner to set up Rayburn on the fast break that broke a 64-64 tie.

The Hoosiers (19-10) still had a chance to force overtime or win it in regulation, but Kim Roberson's 3-pointer fell short and Indiana threw a foul on the rebound with 2.3 seconds left.

Purdue faces seventh-seeded Wisconsin, an upset 56-50 winner over Michigan State, in Saturday's semifinals.

Indiana (19-10) was led by Braun with 18 points but failed to sweep Purdue for the first time since 1996-97.

The Hoosiers led by as much as 14 in the first half after making 13 of their first 21 shots, then watched Purdue slowly whittle away at the gap and get within 36-35 at halftime.

It was a reversal from Indiana's first-round script when early shooting problems forced them to rally from a 12-point first half deficit to beat Michigan on Thursday.

Purdue retook the lead briefly when FahKara Malone opened the second half with a 3-pointer, but Indiana scored six straight and retained the lead through most of the next 10 minutes.

That's when Rayburn finally broke a 52-52 tie with a 3 from the right wing with 7:47 left, and Freeman followed that with a 15-footer to give Purdue a 57-52 lead.

Indiana came right back, getting a 3 from Braun and two free throws from Whitney Thomas to tie the score at 57 with 5:49 to go.

The teams traded leads and ties the rest of the way, with neither taking a lead of more than two points until Wisdom-Hylton's free throws in the final seconds.

While the Boilermakers kept alive their hopes for defending last season's tourney title, the Hoosiers must now put their postseason fate in the hands of the NCAA's tournament selection committee.a