Purdue snaps five-game losing streak to Butler with 82-67 victory
INDIANAPOLIS — 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 six 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.
Purdue’s defense bothered Butler for much of the day. The Bulldogs shot 21.2 percent from the field in the first half — their 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 its 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.