Birmingham, Alab. Once again, Purdue's triumph is bittersweet.
Katie Douglas hit a short runner with 30 seconds left and the Boilermakers took advantage of early foul trouble by Texas Tech's best post player for a 74-72 win Saturday in the NCAA Mideast Regional semifinals.
That set up a matchup Monday night with Xavier as Purdue (29-6) tries to duplicate its title run of two years ago after losing in the second round of the NCAA Tournament last season.
The bad news for Purdue was that freshman Erika Valek, a native of Lubbock, Texas, tore a ligament in her right knee with just over four minutes left after scoring 13 points. She got hugs from her hometown team after the game.
"We've gone through a lot this year, but it's never easy," said center Camille Cooper, who had 17 points on 8-of-11 shooting. "It's still a bit unnerving. But I don't think it would be Purdue if we didn't have a little adversity.
"We just rallied together and tried to win the game for her."
The win was also for Tiffany Young, a popular Purdue player who was killed by a drunken driver a few months after the 1999 championship season. Young was a native of nearby Hillsboro, Ala., and much of her family was on hand Saturday.