In the closing seconds Sunday at Williams Arena, Amaya Battle used her smarts to get a big-time stop, then turned her brain off to win the game.

Battle's two free throws with three seconds left broke a tie, finished off a late-game comeback and gave the Gophers women's basketball team a 60-58 victory over Purdue in the Big Ten opener for both teams.

Since the first day of practice this fall, coach Dawn Plitzuweit has preached to her team to find a way. Sunday the Gophers (9-1) won their fifth game in a row despite struggling to shoot much of the game, and falling into a four-point hole with 83 seconds left.

"It's always just, 'Find a way,' " said Mara Braun, who scored a game-high 21 points on 8-for-18 shooting after missing her first six shots. It was her twisting, turning, double-clutching baseline jumper that tied the score at 58-58 with 13.8 seconds left.

Battle scored 15 points with four assists and two steals. Center Sophie Hart, battling foul trouble, scored 14 in 23 minutes.

But in the end it was the Gophers finding a way to win.

"It's kind of our motto," Braun said. "This team has something to prove this year, and so coming into every game we're confident and ready to outwork the opponent."

And outthink them. Or, not think at all.

Down 43-38 after three quarters, the Gophers — who were shooting only 28.8% from the field at that point — came out and scored the first nine points of the fourth. Hart had the first four, Braun hit a contested three and Battle's basket with 6:17 left put the home team up 49-45.

But Purdue (6-4) is a veteran group that countered moments later by taking advantage of every Gophers mistake. Abbey Ellis (10 points) scored four in a 10-2 run that put Boilermakers up 57-53 with 1:23 left.

And then:

• Hart rebounded Braun's missed three and put it back, and Purdue turned it over.

• Battle hit one of two free throws with 29 seconds left.

• After Purdue's Madison Layden (17 points) hit one of two free throws with 26 seconds left, Braun hit that contorted baseliner to tie the score. "I said to [assistant coach] Rachel Banham, 'I don't know how Mara hit that shot,' " Plitzuweit said. "Just the toughness she showed to put that in was pretty danged special."

And then the two game-turning plays. Out of a timeout, Purdue inbounded the ball. It went to Layden, but her pass was intercepted by Battle, who might have outthought the Boilermakers.

"I was sneaking in because I was like, 'Don't throw it inside,'" Battle said. Then I was like, 'Oh, they're going to skip it, because I'm sneaking in.' And she actually did."

Battle got the steal and, stunningly, was fouled with three seconds left. As she went to the line, she took some advice she got from former assistant coach Shimmy Gray-Miller.

"I was just singing a song in my head," Battle said. "Last year Shimmy said if you sing a song in your head it shuts your mind off, and your body knows what to do. So I just let my body know what to do."

The result is a six-game winning streak for the Gophers, who have two more nonconference games before the Big Ten slate returns at Iowa on Dec. 30.

In the Gophers' 22-15 fourth quarter, they shot 9-for-15, got 12 points off Purdue turnovers, got six points from Hart, seven from Battle and nine from Braun.

"Give the players credit, they found a way," Plitzuweit said. "They battled against a Purdue team we have a lot of respect for. We feel fortunate to come out on top."