INDIANAPOLIS – Purdue let a double-digit halftime lead slip away for the second time in four games Saturday.
The Boilermakers fell 67-65 to Butler (5-6) in the Crossroads Classic after holding an 11-point advantage at halftime. Purdue (9-3) also lost to No. 8 Xavier 66-63 after holding an 11-point halftime lead Dec. 3.
Its very disappointing that we werent able to learn from our mistakes at Xavier, said Boilermakers forward Robbie Hummel, who scored a game-high 16 points.
Unfortunately in two of our biggest games this season, we havent been able to close after starting out so well. I know the whole team is very disappointed. Its something we are going to have to learn from and improve on.
The Boilermakers unraveled in the games final minutes after Hummel sank one of two free throws for a 64-56 lead with 6:40 to play.
Purdue didnt score another point until guard Lewis Jackson made the second of two free throws to tie the game at 65 with 10 seconds to play.
In the 6:30 span, Purdue missed nine shots from the field, including two layups. Jackson also made only one of three free throws in the final 28 seconds.
Layups and free throws, you got to make your layups and free throws, Purdue coach Matt Painter said.
Its a 40-minute game, and we are not finishing games. Butler and Xavier did.
Purdue came out strong building an 11-2 lead in the opening 4 1/2 minutes. The Bulldogs started getting back into the game in the first half, cutting their deficit to 25-21 with 8:33 left in the first.
But the Boilermakers responded with six quick points for a 31-21 lead with 6:51 left in the half and took a 46-35 halftime lead after shooting 55.5 percent.
But Purdue couldnt keep that pace going in the second half, when the Boilermakers were held to 20.7 percent shooting.
Hummel, who scored 12 in the first half, didnt get his first points of the second until sinking a three-pointer with 9:24 to play. Ryne Smith was held without a second-half point after leading Purdue with 14 in the opening half.
Purdue also failed to press its advantage down low after halftime.
The Boilermakers scored 22 points in the paint and had seven second-chance points in the first half. In the second half, Purdue scored only eight more points in the paint and had four second-chance points.
I think its just when we get to the 8-, 7-minute mark, we kind of look at the lead and its like take the best shot, Jackson said. When you are more aggressive in the first half, and a guy feels like they can get a good shot, they go in.
In the second half, we kind of get stagnant. Its like, I want to take this shot, but I dont know if its the best shot. So we have to wait, and we go down with the shot clock and dont get the best shot we need.