Post-game audio:Purdue coach Matt PainterClick Here to view this Link. | Notre Dame coach Mike BreyClick Here to view this Link. | Rapheal DavisClick Here to view this Link. | D.J. ByrdClick Here to view this Link.
INDIANAPOLIS - Frustrating.
More than once in the postgame press conference, Purdue coach Matt Painter used that word to describe Purdue's play in its 81-68 loss to No. 22 Notre Dame on Saturday at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
More than once during the game, he showed it.
He pressed his hands to his forehead, in seeming disbelief of how his team keeps making the same mistakes.
He slammed his hand into the scorer's table.
He picked up a technical foul in the second half for arguing what he perceived to be the wrong call.
No matter his mood or actions, the Boilermakers didn't respond.
Notre Dame capitalized on Purdue's dismal offensive start to the second half - the Boilermakers managed only two points, a Ronnie Johnson basket, in the first nearly 10 minutes - to build a 23-point lead.
Rapheal Davis did his best to single-handedly bring the Boilermakers back with a 21-point second-half performance, but they never closed the gap to more than 10.
There were too many mistakes to rebound from.
"It is frustrating when things aren't going your way," Painter said.
The Boilermakers (4-6) again struggled on offense with poor decision-making, shot selection and turnovers at points. They had 15 turnovers.
The Boilermakers again struggled on defense defending the post and containing the dribble at points. Notre Dame (9-1) shot 49 percent.
They even got outrebounded, 38-33, a rare occurrence for this year's group.
And it all added up to another loss.
"Once again, I feel like we're beating ourselves," Painter said.
Notre Dame had more experienced, and it showed with only 12 turnovers, scoring 18 points off Purdue's turnovers and never being rattled even by the Boilermakers' late run.
The Irish made 16 of 18 free throws in the final 4:35 to end any chance of a comeback.
"I thought that was very business-like by us," Notre Dame coach Mike Brey said. "We are an older team, and I thought it was men kind of playing like men."
The Boilermakers may have been outdone by that 10-minute stretch to start the second half.
Notre Dame shot 57 percent in the first half to take a 39-31 lead at the break.
It didn't take long for the lead to balloon.
Freshman A.J. Hammons missed a shot in the post on Purdue's first possession, turned it over on an offensive foul on its third and then missed a dunk on the fourth, and Notre Dame quickly made a pair of baskets to push the lead to 13.
Purdue missed 10 of its next 11 shots, and ND posts Jack Cooley and Garrick Sherman combined for three baskets underneath to push the lead to 56-33.
"I feel like we made our shots tougher," said D.J. Byrd, who had 13 points, five rebounds and three steals in 35 minutes. "When we got the ball in the lane, we were trying to go into the defense and maybe trying to get a foul or an and-one instead of just focusing on knocking down the shot. When we get those opportunities in the lane, we have to take advantage of them.
"…Once you're playing behind against a team like that, it's really, really difficult to try to get back in the game."
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