INDIANAPOLIS – Notre Dame (7-3) played one of its most complete games of the season on Saturday, defeating Purdue (6-5) by a score of 88-80 at Bankers Life Fieldhouse as part of the annual Crossroads Classic event. With the win the Irish are now 4-4 in Crossroads Classic play.
Junior John Mooney led the way for the Irish with 21 points. Sophomore D.J. Harvey scored 19 points, junior T.J. Gibbs recorded 12 points and freshman Dane Goodwin added 11 points in the victory.
HOW IT HAPPENED
Both teams came out firing on the offensive end on Saturday, as Notre Dame held a 23-16 lead after the opening nine minutes of action. The Irish connected on nine of its first 11 shots from the floor to grab the early advantage. Notre Dame increased its lead to as many as 12 at 34-22 before taking a 36-29 lead into the break.
The Irish lead fluctuated between four and 10 points for the first 12 minutes of the second half. Within a span of 15 seconds Notre Dame scored two and-ones, as Mooney and Nate Laszewski both finished through contact and hit the free throws to give the team a 66-51 lead, its largest of the day, with 7:37 left in regulation.
The Boilermakers managed to cut Notre Dame’s lead to seven points with just over a minute to play but the Irish converted 12-of-14 attempts from the free-throw line down the stretch to come away with the 88-80 win.
NOTRE DAME PLAYER OF THE GAME
Mooney was masterful on the offensive end of the floor, leading the Irish with 21 points on 6-of-8 shooting from the floor. The junior did some of his damage from beyond the arc, finishing 3-for-3 from three-point range. Mooney also led the Irish in rebounding with seven boards.
NOTRE DAME STAT OF THE GAME
The Irish offense was flowing against Purdue, as Notre Dame finished with a season-high 20 assists on 26 makes from the field. Senior Rex Pflueger led the way, supplying a career-high 10 assists despite not playing the final five minutes after exiting with an injury.
NOTES OF THE GAME
- Notre Dame played in its eighth Crossroads Classic at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on Saturday.
- The Irish improve to 23-21 against Purdue in the all-time series, including 3-1 in Crossroads Classic games.
- Notre Dame has scored 80-plus points in each of the four games against Purdue in the Crossroads Classic.
- For the seventh time this season and 15th time in his career, Mooney finished in double figures in the points column.
- With 19 points Harvey matched his career high and has finished in double figures seven times this season and 11 times in his career.
- Goodwin’s 11 points marked a career high for the freshman.
- Pflueger continued to embrace his role as a distributor, logging a career-high 10 assists against Purdue despite missing the final five minutes with an injury.
- Pflueger is the first Notre Dame player to reach double digits in assists in a game this season.
After playing the last three games on the road the Irish return home to Purcell Pavilion to take on Binghamton at 7 p.m. ET on Tuesday, Dec. 18. The game will air on ACC Network Extra via the WatchESPN app.
To purchase tickets Notre Dame men’s basketball tickets visit UND.com/BuyTickets.
— ND —