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Gearlds, Purdue claim Preseason WNIT title

Nov 20, 2006 - 3:16 AM WACO, Texas (Ticker) -- Katie Gearlds has Purdue playing like champions.

Gearlds scored 23 points to lead the 13th-ranked Boilermakers to a 69-55 victory over 16th-ranked Baylor in the Preseason WNIT championship game.

A 6-1 senior, Gearlds followed up Friday night's 31-point performance against Washington with a clutch effort against Baylor, helping to stifle a second-half rally and allow Purdue to pull away to the tournament title.

The Boilermakers (5-0) raced to a 40-26 halftime lead, only to see the Bears (3-1) chip away and whittle the deficit to 54-50 on a layup by Danielle Wilson that capped a 15-4 run with 7:35 to play.

Gearlds responded with five straight points and scored nine of Purdue's next 10 to restore the lead to 64-54 with 3:02 left. Baylor managed just a single free throw thereafter.

Lindsay Wisdom-Hylton scored 21 points and FahKara Malone added 16 for the Boilermakers, who shot 49 percent (26-of-58) from the field.

Baylor, which shot 35 percent (23-of-66), was led by Bernice Mosby with 26 points.

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