Sophomore F Rick Cornett posted a career-best 16 points after connecting on 4-of-7 shots from the floor and 8-of-8 from the FT line ? it marked Cornett's second straight double-digit scoring game (also 15 vs. UConn) and his third game with 10-plus points during his Irish career.
Cornett's combined stats in the last two games include 9-of-13 FG shooting (.692) and 13-of-14 on FTs (.929).
Sophomore G Chris Quinn (21 points) became the first player other than Chris Thomas to lead Notre Dame in scoring during the last 12 games (Thomas had been the leading scorer for 11 straight).
Quinn has scored double-digits in 21 of the last 25 games and in 24 games overall this season ? he has scored 20-plus points in five games this season and three times in the last nine games (also 22 at Syracuse, 20 at UCLA).
Quinn continued his season-long run of low turnovers, with one turnover in 38 minutes of action (he entered the game averaging 32 minutes per turnover) ? he now has posted 11 games with no turnovers and nine others with one turnover in 2003-04.
Quinn scored Notre Dame's first 11 points of the game.
The Irish overcame 0-for-10 field-goal shooting to start the second half.
Notre Dame finished the night with just nine turnovers ? it marked the 12th time in the last 13 games that the Irish have made 10 or fewer turnovers in a game, including eight single-digit turnover totals in the last 11 games
Notre Dame has totaled more assists than turnovers (or same total for both) in each of the last 13 games (15/9 tonight) and in 23 total games this season.
Notre Dame's 17-10 edge in points off turnovers included 13-5 in the first half ? the Irish also owned a 9-0 edge in fastbreak points in the first half (neither team was credited with fastbreak points in the final 20:00) ? Purdue owned a 12-2 edge in second-chance points (thanks to 12 offensive rebounds, to ND's 6) while points in the paint (21-20 for ND) and bench scoring (29-25 for Purdue) were a virtual wash.
The Irish have won eight of their last 11 games and five of the last six.
The Notre Dame-Purdue series now is tied (20-20), with tonight representing the first postseason meeting and first Joyce Center matchup in the history of the series.
Notre Dame now owns a 21-7 all-time record in the NIT, including 10-1 at the Joyce Center.
The Irish have drained 43 three-point baskets in the last four games (10.8 per game), with a school-record 17 vs. St. John's, 10 vs. West Virginia, 7 vs. Connecticut and 9 tonight.
Freshman G Colin Falls hit both of his shots (each from 3-point ranged), with 80-percent of his baskets this season (35 of 44) now coming from beyond the arc.
Junior G Chris Thomas totaled 11 points to push his career total to 1,726, passing Kelly Tripucka (1,719; '77-'81) into 9th place on the ND career scoring list ? next up on that list is Thomas' former teammate David Graves (1.746; '98-'02).
Thomas has scored 10-plus points in each of ND's last six postseason games (BIG EAST, NCAA and NIT tournament games) ? he entered the night with the following career averages in 10 previous postseason games with the Irish: 17.1 ppg, 6.5 apg, 2.2 spg, 5.1 rpg, 39.5 min./gm, .388 FG pct. (59-for-152), .419 three-point FG pct. (26-for-62) and an .844 FT pct. (27-for-32).
Thomas already has totaled the third-most career points ever by a Notre Dame junior, behind Adrian Dantley's 2,223 and Troy Murphy's 2,011 ? just four all-time ND players ever have totaled more points in three seasons of action with the Irish: Austin Carr (2,560), Dantley, Murphy and Tommy Hawkins (1,820) ? Thomas ranks as the No. 4-scoring guard in ND history, behind Carr, David Rivers and Matt Carroll.
Thomas has started all 97 games of his ND career for the second-longest streak of consecutive starts in Irish history ? Pat Garrity started all 111 games of his ND career, from 1994-98 ? Thomas also ranks 6th on the ND list of total games started (next up is Ken Barlow, with 99).
Thomas has posted double-digit points in 83 of 97 career games with the Irish, including all but two games in 2003-04 (14 straight, 21 of last 22).
The Irish now have made a three-point basket in 177 consecutive games, dating back to a game with no three-pointers vs. Connecticut in Hartford on Jan. 12, 1999.
Notre Dame has won four of its last five games at the Joyce Center, for an 11-6 home record in '03-'04.
March 17, 2004