WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -- Antionette Howard scored the go-ahead basket and K.K. Houser had 15 points to lead Purdue (No. 21 ESPN/USA Today, No. 20 AP) to a 57-53 victory over Minnesota in the Big Ten opener for both teams Friday night.
The Boilermakers (11-3) shot just 30.4 percent, but tied the game at 50 on a free throw by Sam Ostarello, and then Howard scored on a layup to give Purdue its first lead in the second half at 52-50.
Howard scored again with 1:27 left in the game to give the Boilermakers a 54-52 lead. She finished with 13 points and four rebounds.
Rachel Banham scored 15 points and Leah Cotton had 11 for the Golden Gophers (8-7).
Minnesota took a lead in the first half after being tied at 19 when Katie Loberg hit a jumper, which sparked the Golden Gophers on a 7-0 run.