- The Washington Times - Saturday, March 21, 2009

CHATTANOOGA, TENN. (AP) - Another year, another early win for Purdue in the NCAA tournament.

Danielle Campbell scored 12 points, and No. 6 seed Purdue downed 11th-seeded Charlotte 65-52 Saturday for its 12th straight first-round win, this time in the Oklahoma City Regional.

Purdue (23-10) hasn’t lost in the opening round since 1996, and the Boilermakers improved to 18-2 in the first round.

They will play No. 3 seed North Carolina, an 85-80 winner over UCF, in the second round Monday night in the teams’ third meeting in the past four NCAA tournaments.

Charlotte (23-9) missed on making school history with an NCAA win in its second trip, and the 49ers can blame themselves. A team averaging 19.4 turnovers per game had 20 in the first half alone and finished with 28, one off its worst of the season.

Aysha Jones had a game-high 24 points for Charlotte, and Danielle Burgin had 10.

Purdue’s roster is loaded with experience thanks to five seniors, led by Lindsay Wisdom-Hylton, the Big Ten’s active career scoring leader. And these seniors want more than just making a regional final, something they last did in 2007.

Brittany Rayburn and FahKara Malone each had 11 points, and Wisdom-Hylton finished with 10.

This was Charlotte’s eighth straight postseason appearance, and the 49ers thought they were ready to take the program to a new level with an NCAA win. But the Atlantic 10’s best shooting team _ 17th in the country _ couldn’t match its 45 percent average and couldn’t hit the boards hard enough to make up for their mistakes.

At least four 49ers had three turnovers apiece in the first half, and Purdue made them pay, turning the mistakes into 16 points

The 49ers led 20-17 on a layup by Erin Floyd at 9:55 when Purdue took control with 15 straight points in a run highlighted by three 3-pointers from Rayburn. Floyd ended the more than five-minute drought for Charlotte with a jumper at 4:28. But Purdue still led 34-25 at halftime despite Aysha Jones’ 3 with 2 seconds left.

Purdue didn’t give Charlotte any chance to make a run in the second half, scoring 10 of the first 13 points. Danielle Campbell’s second bucket in that stretch gave Purdue its biggest lead at 44-28 with 15:59 to go. The Boilermakers led by as much as 20 before Charlotte tried to whittle away at that margin behind Jones.

The 49ers just ran out of time.

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