BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - The Indiana-Purdue rivalry lived up to its expectation Wednesday night at Assembly Hall. The IU women's basketball team took down No. 22/21 Purdue 62-61 on a buzzer-beater by senior Jasmine McGhee who finished with 26 points to lead all scorers.
In the early going Purdue scored first, but senior forward Linda Rubene scored the next four Hoosier points, giving IU (11-15, 2-11) an early 4-3 lead. McGhee scored the next six points of the game and Indiana found itself leading the Boilermakers by seven.
Indiana went nearly eight minutes without a turnover to start the game. Around the 13-minute mark, Purdue began a 9-0 run that would put them ahead 16-14. Aulani Sinclair hit a 3-point jumper that gave IU a 17-16 advantage and on the following IU possession, McGhee scored on a layup to push the Hoosiers ahead by three with 9:43 on the clock.
Purdue (19-7, 8-5) then scored back-to-back field goals to regain the lead at 20-19. IU then strung together a 7-0 run, capped by a Sinclair 3-point field goal at the 4:45 mark to give IU its biggest lead of the game to that point, 27-20. The Hoosiers would end up taking a 34-31 lead into the halftime break.
Coming out of the half, Purdue scored the first four points, but McGhee and Milika Taufa scored consecutive field goals for IU to make it a 38-35 Hoosier lead.
Later in the half, Purdue's Dee Dee Williams hit a layup before McGhee scored on consecutive Hoosiers possessions and Sasha Chaplin hit a pair of free throws to for a quick 6-0 Indiana run. The score then read 49-41 in favor of IU with 11:45 to go.
The Hoosiers continued to hold the Boilermakers at arm's length at IU led 58-52 after a Chaplin jumper with 2:52 to go as Purdue called timeout.
Out of the timeout, the Boilermakers were poised to make a run as KK Houser scored the next five points for Purdue. Taylor Manuel later grabbed an offensive board and hit a put-back layup to give Purdue a 59-58 lead with 1:32 to play, capping a 7-0 run.
Trailing by one point, McGhee was fouled and nailed a pair of free throws to push Indiana back ahead, 60-59, with 1:14 to play.
The Hoosiers managed to stop Purdue on the ensuing possession, but would give the ball right back on a turnover with just under 30 seconds to play.
Houser stepped up for the Boilers and nailed a mid-range jumper to give Purdue a 61-60 lead with 12.6 seconds to play. The Hoosiers called a timeout to set up its final play, as IU would have to go the length of the floor.
Freshman Nicole Bell brought the ball over the timeline and passed to McGhee just inside the half court circle. McGhee then drove to her right and pulled up from inside the arc and nailed the game winner as time expired.
"We wanted to get the ball in Jasmine's hands and we were trying to set some screens for her," head coach Curt Miller said about the last play. "They pressured us better in the backcourt and we didn't get down in the frontcourt with as much time as we hoped. But to Jasmine's credit, some kids hide in that situation. She worked really hard to get the ball and we asked her to go make a play and she did. That's not coaching, that's players living in the moment and not shying away from the moment and willing to put it on their shoulders and go win or lose a game".
The win gave Miller his first win over a ranked opponent since taking over the helm of the IU program and Indiana's first win over a ranked foe since topping No. 24/19 Nebraska on Dec. 5, 2010.
McGhee scored her 26 points while shooting 11-of-17 from the floor, tying her career mark for most field goals made in a single game. Sinclair added 16 points for IU, going 6-of-11 from the floor including three 3-point field goals. Chaplin was the third Hoosiers to score in double figures as she tallied 10 points.
IU outrebounded Purdue, 35-33, and shot 43.6 percent as team from the field.
"I'm really excited for our players and for the effort that they put in. Our kids never quit and battled and stuck to the game plan," Miller said. "When we came out of the timeout with 2:47 to go in the game up six points and they immediately went on a 7-0 run to take the lead, we could have easily said it was a good try and we were going to come up short. But we kept fighting and fighting to the finish line."
Indiana will now take to the road to battle Illinois on Saturday, Feb. 23, in Champaign. That game will tip at 3 p.m. ET live on BTN.
The win over No. 22/21 Purdue marked IU's first win over a ranked opponent since Dec. 5, 2010, when the Hoosiers topped No. 24/19 Nebraska in Assembly Hall, 67-61.
IU defeated Purdue for the first time since Jan. 19, 2009, when the Hoosiers defeated the Boilermakers, 71-57.
The victory gives head coach Curt Miller his first win over a ranked opponent since taking over the helm of the Hoosiers program.
Indiana outrebounded Purdue, 35-33, marking the 10th time this year that IU has outrebounded its opponent. The Hoosiers are 8-2 in those contests.
Jasmine McGhee scored 26 points, shooting 11-of-17 from the field including a pair of 3-point field goals. McGhee also added four rebounds, two steals, a block and an assist. She has scored in double figures in 30 career games, including 16 times this year. McGhee has scored 20 or more points in three games this season.
Aulani Sinclair scored in double figures for the 18th time this season with 16 points. She shot 6-of-11 from the floor and 3-of-5 from beyond the arc. Sinclair has hit three or more 3-point field goals 11 times this year and has scored 10 or more points in 50 career games.
Sinclair still sits at 20th on IU's all-time career scoring list as she now has tallied 1,090 career points. She is just nine points shy of Tatjana Vesel (1994-97) for 19th place on the list.
With her three 3-point field goals, Sinclair is now tied for third in program history for most 3-point field goals made in a career with 174. Sinclair passed Cyndi Valentin's (2003-06) 172 career 3-pointers made and is now tied with Heather Cassady (1999-02). Sinclair is also tied for fifth on IU's single season list for 3-point field goals made with 63.
Sasha Chaplin scored in double figures for the fourth time this year and 29th time in her career. Chaplin finished with 10 points, shooting 3-of-5 from the field and a perfect 4-of-4 from the free throw line. She also added four boards and two assists.
Milika Taufa skied for 10 boards in the game, marking the third time this year that she has had 10 or more boards in a game.