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    Women's Basketball Falls to Top-Ranked Purdue

    NUSPORTSDOTCOM Megan Chawansky fights<BR>through two Purdue defenders<BR>during Saturday's game.
    NUSPORTSDOTCOM
    Megan Chawansky fights
    through two Purdue defenders
    during Saturday's game.
    NUSPORTSDOTCOM

    February 27, 1999

    Box Score

    By HANK LOWENKRON
    AP Sports Writer

    INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - Stephanie White-McCarty scored 11 of her 24 points as top-ranked Purdue put together a 19-2 run in the first half, and the Boilermakers defeated Northwestern 79-56 Saturday in the quarterfinals of the Big Ten women's tournament.

    Purdue's conference-record 24th consecutive victory came in what is likely to be the last game for Wildcats' coach Don Perrelli, who has announced his retirement effective at the end of the season. Perelli compiled a 251-181 mark in 15 seasons at Northwestern and is 426-252 in 23 seasons as a collegiate head coach.

    Northwestern (12-16) saw its hopes for an upset fade as it went more than 6 1/2 minutes without scoring in the first half.

    Purdue (26-1) will put its streak on the line in the semifinals at the RCA Dome on Sunday against Ohio State, which defeated Wisconsin 70-61 in the opening game of the quarterfinals. The Boilermakers, who are hoping to be named a top seed and host school for the opening two rounds of the NCAA tournament, defeated the Buckeyes 64-56 and 88-58 in the regular season.

    Ukari Figgs had 21 for the Boilermakers, who hit 10-of-18 attempts from 3-point range. White-McCarty was 4-of-6 and Figgs was 3-of-6. The Boilermakers dominated the boards 48-31 and posted an 18-2 advantage on fast break points.

    Clarissa Flores led Northwestern with 19 points.

    Purdue trailed 8-5 before its run, which began with 16 consecutive points. White-McCarty, named the conference's player of the year on Friday, ignited the run with a 3-pointer to tie the game. After Michelle Duhart's layup put Purdue ahead to stay, White-McCarty scored six consecutive points.

    Purdue's Ukari Figgs followed with a 3-pointer and after Northwestern's Tami Sears scored to end her team's scoreless drought. White-McCarty then hit another 3-pointer to put the Boilermakers ahead 24-10.

    Northwestern cut its deficit to 35-30 by halftime. But, Purdue began the second half with a 10-2 run to lead 45-32 after a 3-pointer by Katie Douglas, and the Wildcats never got close again.

    Purdue opened its biggest lead of the game at 75-49 late in the second half.