That was kind of boring.
I like it.
Purdue took away all excitement in this one early on by jumping out to a 9-1 lead. The game was only tied for the first 16 seconds and Purdue led the rest of the way, which is a welcome departure from our previous experiences with Butler at the Crossroads Classic. After dropping the first five games in this event Purdue has now won two in a row, and today grabbed its first win over Butler since 1998.
It really is Our State.
I think this was kind of boring because Purdue was comfortably in front most of the day. The Bulldogs got it to four at 14-10 midway through the first half, but Carsen Edwards, Vince Edwards, and Isaac Haas were dominant in pushing the lead to 16 by halftime. Once Dakota Mathias and Carsen pushed it to 22 with threes on consecutive possessions to start the second half the rout was on.
Even in that, Purdue could have played better. Defensively, it was likely our best effort of the season. Offensively we were missing some open looks. It didn’t matter though as Butler was shooting under 30% from the field for most of the game. Offensive rebounds were a concern, but there are going to be a lot of chances for offensive rebounds when you shoot around 30%.
We were led by the usual suspects though. Haas could not be guarded one-on-one and finished with 15 points. He was limited by foul trouble, but Matt Haarms (still a work in progress on offense) protected the rim with three blocks.
That said, Purdue led by as much as 26 and kind of fell asleep for a late run. Butler was able to cut the lead to 69-60 with 3:01 left thanks to an 11-2 run in the span of about a minute. It was too little, too late though as Purdue settled down against the press and PJ Thompson was the cooler from the free throw line. He finished with 12 points, all in the second half and 9 of them after Butler made its run.
It is a good win though. Purdue has another top 100 win according to KenPom. If Butler makes the tournament as expected we have at least four wins over likely tourney teams now.
Also, it just feels good to finally beat Butler again.