Purdue pummels Butler in Crossroads Classic
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Purdue set the tone with its defense. Butler never recovered.
Carsen Edwards scored 18 points, and the 17th-ranked Boilermakers beat the Bulldogs 82-67 on Saturday for their second win in the seven-year history of the Crossroads Classic.
Vincent Edwards and Isaac Haas had 15 points apiece for Purdue (11-2), which never trailed on the way to its first win in the series in nearly two decades. It had lost five in a row to Butler since its previous victory over the Bulldogs on Dec. 19, 1998.
The Boilermakers got their first win in the four-team, in-state classic last season when they overcame a 19-point deficit to beat Notre Dame 86-81.
“(My) sophomore year, we ended up losing to Butler, letting one slip,” Vincent Edwards said. “We didn’t execute down the stretch like we did today. Last year we won and had a good comeback. This year we were able to stay out and stay ahead and finish the game.”
Kelan Martin had 17 points for the Bulldogs (8-3), who went into the annual classic in Indianapolis with a five-game winning streak, including their best offensive showing of the year in a 95-67 win over Youngstown State a week ago. Paul Jorgensen finished with 15 points and eight boards.
Ryan Cline’s 3-pointer with 6 seconds left in the first period gave Purdue a 35-19 halftime lead. The Boilermakers then opened the second half with a 9-2 run and opened a 44-21 advantage on Vincent Edwards’ three-point play with 17:36 remaining.
Purdue led by as much as 26 when Haas made a layup to make it 55-29 with 13:37 left.
“Purdue is a really good basketball team,” Butler coach LaVall Jordan said. “There’s a reason that they are having the season that they’re having, trending the way that they’re trending. I think their pressure really affected us, especially early. We didn’t execute.”
The Bulldogs cut the deficit to nine when Jorgensen hit a 3-pointer with 3:01 left. Purdue then scored eight straight to put the game away for good.
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Purdue’s defense bothered Butler for much of the day. The Bulldogs shot 21.2 percent from the field in the first half — its worst shooting percentage in a half this season. They also tied their season high with 18 turnovers.
Despite its recent struggles, Purdue leads 38-19 in the all-time series against Butler. When Purdue last beat Butler, Jordan was in his sophomore season with the Bulldogs and scored three points in the loss.
Butler: Dropped to 5-2 in the Crossroads Classic. The Bulldogs’ only other loss in the event came against Indiana in 2014.
Purdue: Matt Painter got his first win against Butler as a head coach. He was 0-4 against the Bulldogs prior to Saturday’s victory.
Butler stays home for three of the next four games beginning with Morehead State on Tuesday.
Purdue closes out the pre-Christmas portion of its schedule at home against Tennessee State on Thursday.