Dec. 27, 1997
Friars Lose Heartbreaker at 7th-Ranked Purdue, 81-79
Freshman Ben Perkins Paces Friars With Career High 23 Points
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind.- The Providence College Friars scratched and clawed and fought with everything they had before losing, 81-79, to a bigger, stronger, more experienced Purdue Boilermaker squad Saturday afternoon at Mackey Arena in West Lafayette, Indiana.
Despite trailing most of the game, PC kept the game close through the second half until a pair of Kendrick Moore free throws with 2:19 left in the game gave the Friars a 75-73 lead. A Brad Miller layup and two Brian Cardinal free throws put Purdue back in front with 1:52 left at 77-75. Moore tied and Purdue's Jaraan Cornell traded free throws for a 79-77 Purdue lead with 1:07 left.
With PC controlling the ball, Cornell fouled Jamel Thomas with 51 seconds left as he drove to the hoop. Thomas hit both free throws to tie the game for the fourth time at 79-79. Purdue looked to get the ball inside to Cardinal who had given PC fits on the boards all day. His layup with 31 seconds left gave the Boilermakers their final margin of victory.
Corey Wright would have one last chance for the Friars, but his driving layup attempt with seven seconds left missed the mark. The Friars retained possession for one last shot, but never got it off as Purdue was able to defend an inbounds pass with 2.7 seconds left and Ben Perkins couldn't get a final shot off.
Perkins led the Friars with a career high 23 points, Thomas added 19, Moore had 15 with seven assists and Llewellyn Cole recorded his first career double-double with 10 points and a career best 10 rebounds. Purdue's front line of Cornell (21 points), Cardinal (20 points, seven rebounds) and Brad Miller (16 points, nine rebounds) combined for 57 points and 20 rebounds in the game.
The Friars trailed 37-29 at halftime after shooting just 37.5% (12-32) in the first half. They found their shooting touch in the second half hitting 18 of 29 (62.1%) including seven three-pointers. For the game, PC made a season high 10 three-pointers which kept them in the game.
On the boards, Purdue dominated, outrebounding the Friars, 40-31, including 19-10 on the offensive boards. The Boilermakers made just three shots outside the lane in the second half on a pair of threes and a short jumper by Cardinal.
The loss drops Providence to 4-4 on the season while Purdue goes to 11-2 on the season.
PC hosts Cleveland State at the Providence Civic Center on Monday night at 7:30 p.m.