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Butler Bulldogs Drop 2017 Crossroads Classic to No. 17/17 Purdue

INDIANAPOLIS, IN – The Butler Bulldogs, entering the day on a five-game winning streak, took on the #17/17 Purdue Boilermakers in the 2017 Crossroads Classic at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on Saturday, December 16. Purdue freshman G Carsen Edwards finished with a game-high 18 points in the 82-67 win over Butler. The Bulldogs fall to 8-3 while Purdue improves to 11-2.

“I thought there was a lot to be proud of in the second half, the way we fought back and played with a little more energy, a little more grit,” said Butler Head Coach LaVall Jordan. “We didn’t have that in the first half, and that’s where we’ve got to be better as coaches. That one’s on me to just make sure we start games with the same mentality, with the same aggressiveness, and try to get the same quality on both ends of the floor that we did late.”

The Boilermakers won the tip and opened the game on a layup from senior F Vincent Edwards. Butler responded with a turnover on its first possession, which led to a slow start. A three by Vincent Edwards gave Purdue a 9-1 lead at the 17:06 mark in the first half. After back-to-back turnovers and two missed jumpers, the Bulldogs finally hit a field goal as senior F Kelan Martin responded to the Edwards three with a three of his own. Martin knocked down a jumper for the next score to cut the lead to 9-6 with 15:16 before the half. Senior C Isaac Haas scored five straight points, including an And-1 bucket, to push the lead to 14-6 at the 13:06 first half mark. Butler cut the lead to 14-10, but Purdue received four points freshman G Carsen Edwards and six from Haas to extend the lead to 22-12 with 8:22 remaining in the first half. A jumper by sophomore G Kamar Baldwin was immediately followed up with a second three from Vincent Edwards to push the lead to 11 at 25-14 with 5:24 before the break. A third Vincent Edwards three extended the lead to 13 at 30-17 with 2:14 remaining in the first half. Martin hit a pair of free throws before Purdue ended the first half with five straight points, including a three from junior G Ryan Cline with six seconds remaining, to give Purdue the 35-19 halftime lead.

Butler finished the first half at 21.2% (7-33) from the field, including 11.1% (1-9) from three. Purdue finished the first half shooting a much better 50% (15-30) from the field, including 36.4% (4-11) from three. Butler held a 23-16 rebound advantage. The Bulldogs scored two points off of seven Purdue turnovers while surrendering seven points off of nine first half turnovers. Purdue freshman G Carsen Edwards led all scorers at the half with 10 points.

Photo: Butler Athletics/Butler Sophomore Guard Kamar Baldwin

The Boilermakers picked up right where they left off to start the second half as senior G Dakota Mathias and Carsen Edwards hit back-to-back threes to extend the lead to 41-19 with 18:38 remaining in the game. A layup from freshman G Aaron Thompson brought the lead back down to 20 before Edwards extended the lead to 23 on an And-1 layup from Carsen Edwards for the 44-21 lead with 17:36 remaining. Freshman G Aaron Thompson came up with a steal minutes later and found Kelan Martin open for an easy fast-break two-hand slam to bring the Butler faithful some energy and cut the lead down to 44-25, but a fourth three from Vincent Edwards extended the lead up to 21 at 48-27 with 15:32 remaining. The hot shooting continued for Purdue as senior G P.J. Thompson connected on a three and Haas hit a layup to give the Boilermakers a 26 point lead at 55-29 with 13:37 remaining. Redshirt junior G Paul Jorgensen would score five straight points, including a make from three, to bring the lead to 56-36 with 11:16 remaining. But Cline was there to answer the Jorgensen three with one of his own to extend the lead to 59-36 with 11:04 remaining. The Bulldogs were able to cut the lead down to 18 on a second Jorgensen three at the 8:11 mark and again on a second three from Kelan Martin at 62-44 with 6:56 remaining. A third Martin three cut the lead down to 16 at 67-51 with 4:08 remaining and helped spark a 14-4 run. The run was capped off with a third Jorgensen three to bring the score to 69-60 with 3:03 remaining. But the Butler run was not enough as Purdue would respond with an 11-2 run and secure the win by hitting nine of 10 free throws in the final three minutes of the game. With the help of free throws, Purdue built back an 18 point lead with 0:58 remaining. Kamar Baldwin connected on a corner three with 0:46 remaining to cut the lead to 80-65, but Purdue walked away with an 82-67 win.

The Bulldogs finished the game shooting 37.7% (26-69) from the field, including 31.8% (7-22) from three. Purdue finished at 52.9% (27-51) from the field, including 42.9% (9-21) from three. Butler won the rebounding battle, 37-31. Purdue won the assist battle, 14-11, and finished with 10 blocked shots compared to three for Butler. Butler scored 19 points off of 18 Purdue turnovers while surrendering 18 points off of 17 Butler turnovers. Eleven of Purdue’s 18 turnovers came in the second half.

Senior F Kelan Martin led four Bulldogs in double figures with 17 points on a 6-13 performance, including 3-5 from three. Martin also finished with a team-high three steals. Martin (1,497) passed Jon Neuhouser (1,485) for 14th on the All-Time Scoring List during the game.

Redshirt junior G Paul Jorgensen ended with 15 points on a 6-12 performance, including 3-7 from three. Jorgensen pulled down a game-high and career-high eight rebounds. Sophomore G Kamar Baldwin finished with 13 points. Freshman G Aaron Thompson scored 10 points and a team-high four assists for Butler before fouling out.

Redshirt sophomore G/F Sean McDermott, sidelined since Nov. 24 with a sprained ankle, returned for Butler in Saturday’s contest. He played eight minutes.

Purdue freshman G Carsen Edwards led five Purdue players in double figures with a game-high 18 points.

Butler closes out the non-conference slate with a pair of games next week, hosting Morehead State on Tuesday night and Western Illinois on Thursday night at Hinkle Fieldhouse.

Chris Fultz is a Senior Writer for the Indiana Sports Report and is recognized as an accredited member of the media by Butler Athletics and has full media access. Follow @CafultzISR and the @IndySportsRep on Twitter.

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