Originally created 12/14/03

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INDIANAPOLIS - With a flick of the wrist, Beth Jones undid a near upset.

Jones made a 3-pointer from the corner with 1.8 seconds left, lifting No. 8 Purdue to a 58-57 victory over UCLA on Saturday. The assist went to Erika Valek.

"Erika and I had been working on passes this week," Jones said. "In talking to Erika, I told her, 'I think that's the most perfect pass I've ever seen."'

Lisa Willis made two free throws to give UCLA a 57-55 lead with 8.6 seconds left, but Valek drove the length of the court and found Jones for the winning shot.

"I had no idea where I was on the floor," Jones said. "I knew I was somewhere around the 3. I just worried about getting a shot off in time."

The shot helped Jones match a season-high 12 points. Shereka Wright added 17 on 7-for-12 shooting as Purdue (7-1) overcame 32 percent shooting and extended its winning streak to six games.

"I thought to myself, 'We're going to beat them,"' UCLA coach Kathy Olivier said. "All we have to do is play defense for nine seconds. But we only played for 7.2 seconds, which wasn't long enough."

Emily Heikes finished with 11 rebounds for the Boilermakers, who held a 48-46 edge on the glass.

Nikki Blue scored 20 points for UCLA (2-3), and Willis added career highs in points (20), rebounds (nine) and assists (four).

"Sometimes when you're playing against a top-10 program, you go in hesitant," Olivier said. "But in the second half, it finally made sense to them that they can play with them."

Both teams' struggled early. The Bruins went the first five minutes without a point, while the Boilermakers were held to just 1 of 12 shooting from 3-point range for most of the game.

Wright tried pulling Purdue out of its funk, fading away from one defender and into another for two of her seven first-half points.

Wright went to the bench briefly after coming up lame on the play, but later returned in the half with a chance to extend Purdue's lead after UCLA pulled within seven points.

"They never gave up. They played to the end," Wright said. "Just with them being so young, I give them great credit because they play like a veteran team. For them to keep fighting back like that just shows they're going to be a very good team down the line."


In Nacogdoches, Texas, Maria Villarroel made 10 of 12 shots and scored 24 points as the Sooners remained undefeated.

Dionnah Jackson 15 points and five assists for Oklahoma (8-0), which forced 27 turnovers while keeping the Lumberjacks winless.


In Blacksburg, Va., Carrie Mason scored 12 of her 16 points in the second half, and Virginia Tech remained unbeaten.

Mason hit a 3-pointer to cap a 13-0 run that gave the Hokies (7-0) a 47-26 lead with 8:27 remaining. Ieva Kublina added 14 points and 10 rebounds for the Hokies, who led by as many as 23 points.


In Salt Lake City, Kim Smith had 17 points and Shona Thorburn 16 for Utah, which extended its home winning streak to 20 games.

Carley Marshall added 10 points as the Utes (6-2) held Washington State to 32-percent shooting.


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