Purdue lost today to Notre Dame, but it may have discovered a low-post presence in freshman big man Trevion Williams.
The 6-9, 280-pound Chicago native tallied a career-high 10 points on five-of-six shooting with four rebounds, two steals and a block. This, after notching a rebound and foul in just three minutes in the first half.
But, it wasn’t enough to get Purdue over the hump in a 88-80 loss to Notre Dame in the Crossroads Classic in Indianapolis. Junior Carsen Edwards also tried his best on this day, scoring a game-high 27 points but hitting only 8-of-22 shots. And senior Ryan Cline chipped in 15 points on a day he rediscovered his shooting touch—a little bit—on 5-of-13 shooting. Still, the Boilers couldn’t get over the hump in Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
Purdue has been searching for a win vs. a marquee non-league foe after losing to Virginia Tech, Florida State and Texas in excruciating fashion, falling by an average of 3.7 points in those games.
Today, the outcome wasn’t as close—or excruciating—as the Fighting Irish (7-3) out scored the Boilers 26-8 after Purdue took an early 10-4 lead. ND, which led 36-29 at halftime, never looked back or relinquished control.
The Irish shot lights out, hitting 52 percent from the field and 52.4 percent from 3-point land. And for good measure, ND hit 25-of-29 free throws (86.2 percent). Conversely, Purdue connected on just 42.9 percent of its shots and 31.0 percent from 3-point range, also hitting only 11-of-18 free throws (61 percent). John Mooney, a 6-9 junior forward, did most of the damage for Notre Dame with 21 points, hitting 6-of-8 shots to go along with a game-high six boards.
The loss ends Purdue’s two-game win streak in the Crossroads Classic and drops the Boilers to 2-6 all-time in the event. The defeat also means the Boilers (6-5) have exhausted their last chance to score an impressive non-league win before Big Ten play begins January 3 vs. Iowa.
Up next for the Boilermakers—who have lost four of five—is a visit from Ohio of the Mid-American Conference on Thursday, as Purdue looks to build some mojo as it closes out the non-league portion of its schedule with a visit from Belmont on December 29.