Xavier tops Purdue 63-57
Purdue went six minutes in the second half against Xavier without scoring a point. That stretch allowed the Musketeers to turn a two point deficit into a six point lead and they were able to hold on for a 63-57 win in Mackey Arena.
"I think we had consistency as far as playing hard, in the first half. We out rebounded them and things like that. The ball just wasn't going in. It just came down to taking bad shots at bad times and that gave them points," said Terone Johnson. "Not being disciplined is why we lost today."
The loss ends a two game winning streak for the Boilermakers who dropped to 3-4 on the year. It also is the fifth straight time they have fallen to Xavier.
The Musketeers jumped out to an early 11-2 lead, but Purdue answered with a 15-2 run and held a three point edge at halftime.
The Boilermakers first half run was sparked by its bench. Ronnie Johnson, Donnie Hale, and Jay Simpson came in and combined for 15-points and six rebounds.
"Coach always says to come off the bench and bring energy and crash the boards and go hard," said Hale. "I just try to do that every game."
But, in the second half, the freshman trio combined for just six points. As a team, the Boilers shot just 35-percent and were 0-17 from three-point range. They also were just 15-23 at the free throw line, missing five of their final eight.
After torching Clemson from beyond the arc, Wednesday, D.J Byrd went 0-9 on three point attempts and was held scoreless.
"I think we just have to get the ball inside more," said Terone Johnson. "We got a couple of guys that shot some bad shots at crucial times in the game and that turned around and bit us in the butt."
With Purdue's leading scorer struggling, Johnson elevated his game. He scored a team high 19-points and ten rebounds.
"Shots weren't falling from the outside, so I figured somehow get into the paint to get some buckets and rebound," he said.
Johnson trimmed the deficit to three, 55-52, by making two free throws with 1:37 to play. Purdue got the ball back with a chance to tie, but Jacob Lawson was called for traveling. Then, on a day when the Boilermakers out rebounded Xavier 44-29, Purdue gave up an offensive board at the most inopportune time.
Freshman Semaj Christon missed a lay up with :37 left , but Travis Taylor put back an offensive rebound that pushed the Xavier lead back to five and secured the win.
"As a team, when you out rebound someone by 15 on your home court, you should win the game and we didn't take advantage of that," said Purdue head coach Matt Painter.
Christon led Xavier and all scorers with 25-points. He was 8-of-12 from the field and a perfect 8-of-8 from the free throw line.
"He's a good player," said Painter. "For a true freshman to score 25 on his first road game is pretty impressive."
Purdue hosts Lamar, Tuesday, at 6:30 p.m.