Saturday, March 27, 1999

PURDUE 77, LOUISIANA TECH 63


White-McCarty, Figgs want one more win

The Associated Press

        SAN JOSE, Calif. — Purdue's Stephanie White-McCarty, Ukari Figgs and Carolyn Peck will team up one last time in what has been one special season.

        After 34 games, all but one of them a victory, the Boilermakers will play for the national championship.

        Figgs scored 18 of her 24 points in the first half, White-McCarty added 17 and they provided their usual strong dose of leadership Friday night as No.1 Purdue reached the NCAA title game with a 77-63 victory over Louisiana Tech.

        And as long as they've come this far, the Boilermakers figure they might as well try to win it.

        “We're happy where we are, but we're not satisfied,” White-McCarty said. “We want more. That's been our attitude all season.”

        Purdue (33-1) won for the 31st straight time and will try to win its first title Sunday night against Duke.

        Win or lose, it will be Peck's last game as Purdue's coach. She's leaving to become coach and general manager of the WNBA's new Orlando franchise, a job change she announced last July.

        Her lame-duck status had no affect on her team and now she has a chance to capture the biggest prize in women's college basketball in just her second year as a coach. It has happened in large measure because of her two seniors, Figgs and White-McCarty.

        “I cannot say enough about the wonderful players they are,” said Peck, the Associated Press coach of the year. “They're great team players. They kept the whole team involved.”

        Playing with poise and patience against Louisiana Tech's tenacious man-to-man defense, Purdue built a 15-point lead in the first half behind Figgs, then weathered a comeback to deny the Lady Techsters (30-3) a return trip to the championship game.

        Amanda Wilson scored 18 points and Monica Maxwell 17 for Tech, which had won 22 straight since a 71-65 loss to Purdue.

        “I've got to compliment Purdue,” Louisiana Tech coach Leon Barmore said. “They are much better now than they were when we played them in December. We had no answers for Figgs.”

        Figgs finished 8-for-14 from the field and went 5-for-7 on three-point shots.

        Purdue led 40-27 at halftime and was up 50-37 after White-McCarty hit a three-pointer with 15:15. Louisiana Tech then started to cause some problems with its defense. .

        The Lady Techsters trailed just 58-55 when Betty Lennox nailed a three-pointer with 8:45 remaining. But they would get no closer.

        Figgs hit a three-pointer with Tamicha Jackson in her face, White-McCarty stole the ball and drove for a layup, then made a floating jumper in a 12-0 run to pull ahead by 15.

        LOUISIANA TECH (30-3) — Maxwell 7-16 1-2 17, Wilson 8-15 1-1 18, Massey 3-8 0-0 6, Stallworth 1-6 2-2 4, Jackson 1-6 0-0 2, Walker 1-5 0-0 2, Lennox 5-15 1-3 14, Lewis 0-0 0-0 0, Sides 0-1 0-0 0, Lassitter 0-0 0-0 0, Gilmore 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 26-72 5-8 63.

        PURDUE (33-1) — McCarty 6-17 4-5 17, Duhart 0-0 0-0 0, Cooper 3-9 1-2 7, Figgs 8-14 3-4 24, Douglass 5-11 4-4 15, Crawford 2-4 2-2 6, Komara 0-2 0-0 0, Young 4-7 0-0 8. Totals 28-64 14-17 77.

        Halftime—Purdue 40, Louisiana Tech 27. 3-Point Goals—Louisiana Tech 6-17 (Lennox 3-7, Maxwell 2-7, Wilson 1-1, Jackson 0-2), Purdue 7-14 (Figgs 5-7, McCarty 1-1, Douglass 1-4, Komara 0-1, Young 0-1). Fouled out—None. Rebounds—Louisiana Tech 41 (Massey 11), Purdue 43 (Figgs 10). Assists—Louisiana Tech 13 (Maxwell 6), Purdue 12 (Figgs, McCarty 4). Total fouls—Louisiana Tech 18, Purdue 11. A—17,733

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