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Ohio State edges Purdue; wins Big Ten tourney

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INDIANAPOLIS (AP)

Ohio State's Jantel Lavender made one of two free throws with 6.2 seconds left, giving the 12th-ranked Buckeyes a 67-66 victory over third-seeded Purdue in the Big Ten tournament championship game Sunday. Lavender, the conference player of the year, finished with 25 points and 13 rebounds. Samantha Prahalis, the league's freshman of the year, preserved the win by making Purdue's Brittany Rayburn miss the potential winning shot as the buzzer sounded. With the win, regular-season champion Ohio State (27-5) became the fourth top seed to win the tourney title and claimed the league's automatic bid to the NCAA tournament. It's the second time Ohio State has won the title. Rayburn had 20 points to lead Purdue (22-10), which had its two-year tournament reign come to an end. Lindsay Wisdom-Hylton added 15 points despite missing almost 14 minutes in the first half because of foul trouble. When the Buckeyes needed a play late, they of course went to Lavender. Twice in the final 3 1/2 minutes, she broke ties by out-muscling the Boilermakers for putbacks. And when the Buckeyes called timeout with 12.2 seconds left to set up a play, they put the ball in Lavender's hands again. She caught it about five feet from the basket, spun toward the baseline and drew a foul on Wisdom-Hylton. After missing the first free throw, she hit the second to give Ohio State the lead. And after calling another timeout, Buckeyes guard Shavelle Little, the conference defensive player of the year, forced a tie-up with 1.1 seconds to go. Prahalis closed it out by forcing Rayburn's shot to go behind the backboard. The difference was Ohio State's interior play, while relied primarily on outside shots. Still, Purdue had its chances. With the score tied and 15 seconds to go, Danielle Campbell tossed up an air ball from about five feet, and when Wisdom-Hylton grabbed the rebound, the shot clock ran out. Ohio State took advantage with Lavender's free throw and a relentless defense that refused to allow Purdue to win its second straight title on a buzzer-beater.

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