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Boiling Point

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Purdue women top Iowa

WEST LAFAYETTE – Brittany Rayburn followed her record-setting performance with another dramatic effort.

The senior guard scored 14 points and came up with a key block late to help No. 17 Purdue defeat Iowa 57-55 on Sunday. She made two free throws with 17.5 seconds left to give Purdue the lead, then blocked Kelly Krei’s potential game-winning three-pointer at the other end.

“All I know is I felt the ball, and the buzzer went off,” Rayburn said.

Rayburn tied an NCAA record with 12 three-pointers in a win over Minnesota on Jan. 12, but more than jumpers were needed against pesky Iowa. She shot just 4 for 16 from the field and 1-for-5 from the 3-point line against the Hawkeyes, but she also had seven rebounds, two blocks and two steals.

“She’s an all-around player, and I think a lot of people know that,” Purdue forward Sam Ostarello said. “She gets in there and does the dirty work. It showed at the end of today’s game.”

Rayburn didn’t score as many points as in the previous game, in part, because Iowa was ready after watching her 38-point effort against Minnesota.

“You show clips to your players of her coming off those down screens and we definitely wanted to handle it different defensively than Minnesota did, and I thought we did a fair job against her,” Iowa coach Lisa Bluder said.

Courtney Moses added 10 points and Ostarello had 10 rebounds for the Boilermakers (15-3, 5-0 Big Ten), who won their eighth straight.

Purdue has given up 63 or fewer points and held each opponent under 38 percent shooting in each game during the streak. That long run of success gave Purdue coach Sharon Versyp confidence heading into the final sequence.

“It came down to defense, and our kids stepped up and fought through,” she said.

Purdue’s bench outscored Iowa’s 22-0, and the Boilermakers had 24 offensive rebounds to make up for 30 percent shooting.

Morgan Johnson scored 16 points, despite hurting her left ankle during the first half and struggling with it throughout the game. During a nearly five-minute stretch with Morgan out of action, Purdue outscored Iowa 10-0.

Jaime Printy scored 15 points and Krei added 10 for the Hawkeyes (10-8, 2-3).

Krei made two free throws with 37.7 seconds left to give the Hawkeyes a 55-54 lead.

Purdue’s Alex Guyton missed, but KK Houser got the rebound and Guyton was fouled. She made the first free throw and missed the second, but Rayburn rebounded and made two free throws with 17.5 seconds left to give Purdue a 57-55 lead.

Iowa had one last chance, but Rayburn stuffed Krei’s shot. The Hawkeyes wanted to go inside but Purdue didn’t allow it.

“We were going to go for a 2,” Bluder said. “If we had to take a desperation 3, we were going to, but we were going to go for the tie. No, that wasn’t really the look that we wanted to get.”

Purdue led by 14 points in the first half, but just 32-28 at halftime. It was a rough-looking first 20 minutes – the teams combined to miss 40 of their 61 shots and commit 21 turnovers.

Iowa took its first lead early in the second half on a three-pointer by Krei. The Hawkeyes scored the first nine points of the second half to take a 37-32 lead and force the Boilermakers to call timeout. The Boilermakers went scoreless for the first 4:34 of the second half.

Purdue rallied with a 10-0 run, and a driving layup by Antionette Howard gave the Boilermakers a 44-39 lead.

Purdue expanded that lead to 48-39, but Iowa switched to a zone defense and made another push as Purdue began missing outside shots. A three-pointer by Printy trimmed Purdue’s lead to 52-49 with 4:27 remaining. Printy and Wahlin scored back-to-back baskets to cut Iowa’s deficit to one point, then Rayburn missed a 3-pointer and Iowa rebounded to set up the final minute.

Purdue has played ugly basketball at times this season, but the end result often has been a thing of beauty.

“We got a win,” Rayburn said. “That’s the biggest thing for us right now is to get a win on our home floor.”

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