No. 17 Butler stops late comeback, beats No. 9 Purdue 74-68

Purdue center A.J. Hammons (20) shoots in front of Butler forward Tyler Wideman (4) in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in Indianapolis, Saturday, Dec. 19, 2015. Butler defeated Purdue 74-68. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Roosevelt Jones scored 19 points, Tyler Lewis had 17 and No. 17 Butler beat No. 9 Purdue 74-68 on Saturday, sending the Boilermakers to their first loss of the season.

Jones and Lewis helped make up for an awful shooting performance by Kellen Dunham, the Big East’s leading scorer. Dunham missed all 12 of his shots from the field and had a season-low two points in the Bulldogs’ sixth straight win.

Purdue (11-1) was led by freshman Caleb Swanigan, who had 25 points and 11 rebounds. A.J. Hammons finished with 12 points.

Butler (9-1) grabbed control with a 17-4 run for a 53-37 lead with 9:38 to play that was Purdue’s biggest deficit of the season.

After methodically closing the deficit to seven, Purdue took advantage of Butler’s late free-throw shooting woes to close to 70-68 when Kendall Stephens made the first of two free throws with 26.5 seconds left. But Lewis responded with two big foul shots for Butler.

The Bulldogs, the nation’s second-highest scoring team, went 4 of 16 on 3-pointers and shot just 30.7 percent from the field. But they also forced 18 turnovers and held the Boilermakers’ two 7-footers in check inside.

Jones, Lewis and Andrew Chrabascz teamed up to give one of the nation’s best defenses all sorts of problems.

Purdue led 21-16 midway through the first half but faced a 31-27 deficit at the break.

Jones started Butler’s big second-half run with a 7-foot runner and Chrabascz and Lewis made back-to-back 17-footers. The trio combined for 15 of the Bulldogs’ 17 points in the key stretch.

But with no timeouts and time running short, Purdue reverted to fouling for the final 2:25 and the Bulldogs responded by missing 4 of 12 foul shots.

That allowed the Boilermakers to have a chance to tie it after Swanigan made back-to-back 3s and Purdue forced a turnover with 38.6 seconds to go.

Stephens then made 1 of 2 from the line, Lewis made two at the other end and Butler got a late layup to close it out.

THE STREAKS

The Bulldogs improved to 4-1 in the Crossroads Classic, the annual doubleheader between the four best-known teams in Indiana. They have beaten Purdue five straight times, including three times in the Classic.

TIP-INS

Butler: Chrabascz gave the Bulldogs quite a scare when he left with an injured left knee with 7:58 to play. He returned with a sleeve over the injured knee with 5:08 to play. He limped off the court again with 4:04 left before returning again. He finished with 16 points. … The nation’s second-best scoring team finished well below its season average of 91.7.

Purdue: The Boilermakers were trying for the fifth 12-0 start in school history and the first since 2009-10. … Saturday’s game marked the first time in this 56-game series that both teams were ranked. … Purdue had 54 assists and only 16 turnovers in the previous three games combined.

UP NEXT

Butler hosts Southern Utah on Tuesday.

Purdue hosts Vanderbilt on Tuesday.

Comments are closed.