In Freeport, Bahamas, Katie Gearlds had 18 points, Cherelle George added nine points and 10 steals and Purdue avoided going 0-for-the-islands with a victory over South Carolina at the Junkanoo Jam.
The Boilermakers (2-1) had lost to George Washington in the tournament's first game Friday and trailed the Gamecocks (2-2) midway through the second half.
But Purdue's defense, led by George's quick hands, turned things around.
Her steal and layup with 12:03 left gave the Boilermakers the lead for good, 36-35. Danielle Campbell added a basket and two free throws, Erin Lawless had a three-point play and Purdue was up 45-38.
The Gamecocks closed to 45-43 on Melanie Johnson's putback with 5 minutes to go. But Gearlds followed with a basket to regain control for Purdue, which took third place in the tournament's four-team Lucaya Division.
For South Carolina, it was a second consecutive bitter defeat at the holiday tournament.The Gamecocks led No. 18 Texas late before falling 59-55. This time, they were up as many as eight points and looked on the way to breaking a 17-game losing streak against ranked teams.
The Gamecocks committed 18 of their 28 turnovers after halftime.
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