No. 3 Purdue uses size to overpower Butler in 77-48 rout

College Hoops

INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA – DECEMBER 18: Zach Edey #15 of the Purdue Boilermakers and DJ Hughes #0 of the Butler Bulldogs battle for a loose ball during the 2021 Crossroads Classic at Gainbridge Fieldhouse on December 18, 2021 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Jaden Ivey scored 22 points and Zach Edey finished with 14 points and 11 rebounds Saturday to help No. 3 Purdue rout Butler 77-48 in the Crossroads Classic.

The Boilermakers (10-1) rebounded from their roughest week of the season — and a weeklong break for finals — with perhaps their most impressive win this year. Purdue lost to Rutgers in its first game with the No. 1 ranking, then needed overtime to get past North Carolina State last Sunday.

This time, the Boilermakers made sure it was never close over the final 30 minutes.

The Bulldogs (7-4) were led by Bryce Golden with 17 points and Jayden Taylor with 11 and had a four-game winning streak snapped.

Purdue took advantage of its size quickly — even with Edey and All-American Trevion Williams swapping roles.

Williams made his first start of the season and scored Purdue’s first two baskets. Then Edey came off the bench and scored six points during a 10-0 run that gave Purdue an insurmountable 34-16 lead with 2:31 left in the opening half. Edey finished the half with 10 points and 10 rebounds.

And when Butler tried to adjust in the second half, the Boilermakers had more answers.

Ivey and Sasha Stefanovic unleashed a 3-point barrage that helped the Boilermakers extend the margin to as much as 36 before putting it away. Ivey made all six of his 3-point attempts.

BIG PICTURE

Butler: The Bulldogs wound up scoring their fewest points this season while shooting a season-low 14.3% on 3s. But the problems went far deeper than numbers. Yes, Butler, like many teams, struggled with Purdue’s post play, but it also appeared timid in attacking the basket. Coach LaVall Jordan knows that must change.

Purdue: The Boilermakers delivered their most complete performance of the season. They dominated offensively, played lockdown defense, moved the ball nimbly and pulled away once they took control. When Purdue plays this way, it just might be the best team in the nation.

THE FINAL COUNTDOWN

The Crossroads Classic started in 2011 as a showcase event featuring the state’s four most prominent basketball schools — Indiana, Purdue, Butler and Notre Dame. In July, organizers announced the December doubleheader would end. Indiana started the day with the best record at 7-3. Butler’s 6-5 mark will go down as second best, with Purdue going 4-7 after starting 0-5. Notre Dame was 4-6 heading into Saturday’s second game.

UP NEXT

Butler: Opens Big East play Thursday at St. John’s.

Purdue: Has a quick turnaround, hosting Incarnate Word on Monday.

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