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Notre Dame Find Offensive Rhythm In 88-80 Win Over Purdue

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For just the second time this season, Notre Dame shot over 50 percent from the field, which helped the Irish take down Purdue, 88-80, in the 2018 Crossroads Classic.

Notre Dame began the game 8-of-9 from the field and didn't look back for the best performance on that end since a win over DePaul (55.0 percent).

Blue & Gold Illustrated recaps the Irish win half-by-half.

FIRST HALF

It was a quick start for Purdue to open the contest getting a first possession inside bucket from big man Matt Haarms, which was followed by a three-pointer from Carsen Edwards.

Notre Dame responded a 4-0 run behind a nice pull-up jumper from DJ Harvey and a layup via forward John Mooney, who drove to the basket after receiving the ball on the wing. Edwards hit his second-straight point to put his team up 8-4 early.

Junior guard TJ Gibbs got going early with an open three-pointer to cut into the deficit again before guard Rex Pflueger found Harvey in transition for a layup. Purdue led 10-9 at the under-16 media timeout.

After missing their first attempt, Notre Dame hit its next eight attempts to take an 18-16 lead over the Boilermakers at the under-12 media timeout (11:38).

Gibbs hit his second-straight three-pointer to open the game before junior forward Juwan Durham notched two dunks and a fadeaway jumper for his first three makes to help fuel the Irish start. Purdue’s Evan Boudreaux also notched six-straight points to counter.

Notre Dame remained red hot from the field getting a three-pointer from Pflueger and a transition layup from Prentiss Hubb from a nice pass via Gibbs. After a pair of Mooney free throws, the Irish forced a turnover on the other end which led to a three-pointer from Harvey to extend the lead to 30-18 with 8:13 left in the half.

The Harvey bucket extended the Irish run to 14-2 over a 4:39 period while Notre Dame hit 11 of its first 14 shots.

Notre Dame began to cool off a bit on offense, but the Boilermakers weren’t able to capitalize hitting just one of their next six shots while the Irish were just 1-of-5. Notre Dame held a 32-22 advantage with 3:35 remaining in the half.

Both teams continued to struggle over the final few minutes offensively, but the Boilermakers were able to go on a 7-2 run to close out the half and cut the Notre Dame lead to 36-29 heading into the break.

Harvey led the Irish scorers with seven while Edwards had 12 for Purdue. Notre Dame finished the half 13-of-24 (54.2 percent) from the floor, despite hitting just one of nine to close out the half. Pflueger had five points and seven assists in the opening 20 minutes while Mooney, Gibbs and Durham each had six points.

SECOND HALF

Notre Dame was not able to start the second half like the first, but the Irish still held onto their lead over the first few minutes of the final half.

Edwards and Mooney scored the first two baskets for their respective teams with the former getting two layups and the latter nailing a couple of three-point attempts, which made it 42-33 Notre Dame with 17:41 left.

The Boilermakers followed with a 5-0 run behind a three-pointer from guard Ryan Cline and a dunk via Boudreaux.

Irish freshman guard Dane Goodwin made a great play on the other end securing an offensive rebound and nailing the putback while being fouled to put the Irish up 44-38.

The two teams traded three-point attempts over the next minute and a half with Harvey getting it going before Cline matched on the other end. Not to be outdone, Harvey got another chance on the wing for third triple in four attempts to keep the Irish up 50-41. Notre Dame led 51-43 going into the under-12 media timeout (11:40) with Mooney and Harvey leading the way with 13 points.

Notre Dame started to heat up a bit hitting four of their next seven shots to hold a 62-51 lead at the under-8 media timeout.

Freshman forward Nate Laszewski got out in transition out of the break and was fouled while converting the layup. He was successful with the and-one opportunity to make it 66-51 Notre Dame with 7:37 left.

Purdue continued to fight with forward Grady Eifert knocking down a triple while big man Trevion Williams followed with a dunk. Goodwin connected on a triple to slow down some of the Boilermaker momentum, but Williams got back-to-back baskets to fall before guard Nojel Eastern made a free throw to cut the Notre Dame lead to 69-61 with under four minutes to play.

During that stretch, Pflueger went down with a left knee injury and had to be helped to the locker room.

A runner from Harvey put the Irish back up 10. Edwards and Williams combined to make it 71-64 Irish before Mooney hit a clutch three-pointer with the shot clock winding down to extend the lead back to double-digits.

Purdue kept responding with another bucket from Williams, but Mooney hit two free throws to keep the lead at 10.

Over the final minute-plus, it was a war between the two teams to see who could blink first between the Boilermakers trying to mount a comeback while Notre Dame needing free throws to make it happen.

The Irish hit 12 of their final 14 free throw attempts during that time to keep the Boilermakers at bay.

Purdue cut the Notre Dame lead to 84-78 after a three-pointer from Cline, but Notre Dame kept hitting their free throws.

Time eventually ran out with the Irish claiming an 88-80 win over the Boilermakers.

Mooney finished with 21 points and seven rebounds to lead Notre Dame while Harvey added 19 points and five rebounds. Gibbs (12) and Goodwin (11) rounded out the double-digit scorers while Pflueger notched seven points and 10 assists. Edwards led all scorers with 27 points.

Notre Dame shot an even 50 percent (13-of-26) in the second half for their first complete performance offensively of the season finishing at 52 percent (26-of-50). The Irish also hit 11-of-21 of their three-point attempts.

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