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Cooley helps Notre Dame cruise past Purdue

Jack Cooley had 18 points and nine rebounds in No. 22 Notre Dame's 81-68 win over Purdue in the Crossroads Classic.

Eric Atkins tallied 17 points, seven assists and three steals, while Pat Connaughton added 16 points for the Fighting Irish (9-1), who have won seven games in a row since dropping an overtime decision to Saint Joseph's on Nov. 16.

"I thought that was very business-like by us today. We are an older team, and I thought it was men kind of playing like men," Notre Dame coach Mike Brey said.

Rapheal Davis netted a game-high 21 points for Purdue (4-6), which has dropped two consecutive contests and three of its last four.

"He had a great game," Purdue coach Matt Painter said of Davis. "He's always been known as a scorer. He's improving in other areas. That definitely was a pleasant surprise for us."

The Irish turned an eight-point halftime lead into a 22-point advantage midway through the final 20 minutes.

Notre Dame began the stanza on an 18-4 run, which was capped when Garrick Sherman split a pair from the foul line for a 57-35 Notre Dame edge. Connaughton had seven points during the surge.

Purdue never cut the deficit below nine the rest of the way.

The Irish led by as many as 11 in the opening half before taking a 39-31 cushion into the break.

Game Notes

Sherman finished with 11 points ... Ronnie Johnson recorded 15 points, while D.J. Byrd added 13 for Purdue ... The Irish shot 57.1 percent (16-of-28) in the first half and 49.1 percent (26-of-53) for the game.