INDIANAPOLIS, IN – Despite a valiant effort in trying to come back, No. 1 Arizona Basketball (8-1) came up short, losing to No. 3 Purdue (10-1, 1-1), 92-84.
Playing in one of the most anticipated college basketball games of the year, No. 1 Arizona Basketball traveled to Indianapolis to take No. 3 Purdue for a non-conference battle between two collegiate heavyweights.
And for a few stretches on Saturday, this one certainly delivered some great moments in what felt like a March Tournament game.
Despite scoring 84 points on 51.6 percent shooting from the field (37.5 percent from three), it wasn't enough as Purdue was just too much for the Cats.
Overall, Arizona's defense was not sharp on Saturday as they surrendered 92 points on 53.8 percent shooting, including 41.6 percent from three, as the Boilermakers made more plays in critical stretches of the game.
Caleb Love would lead all scorers as he finished his day with 29 points on 9-19 shooting (4-7 from thee) but, unfortunately, it wouldn't be enough as the Cats fell to No. 3 Purdue by a 92-84 final.
Falling behind by as many as 15, No. 1 Arizona Basketball rallied but it wasn't enough as they fell to No. 3 Purdue.
Playing in its first basketball action in a week, the Wildcats had a significant challenge on its hands as it took on the reigning National College Basketball of the Year in Zach Edey, and No. 3 Purdue.
And from the tip, we were in store for a good one!
Seemingly trading buckets for much of the first half, Arizona led by as many as six after a jumper from Kylan Boswell made it 17-11, Cats.
Unfortunately, that would be the largest lead of the game for Arizona in this one, as Purdue would hit big shot after big shot.
Tied at 28 with 6:19 to play in the first half, Purdue would close out the half by outscoring Arizona 21-10 as they led 49-38 at the break.
Needing to respond in a big way, Purdue would continue to assert its dominance in this one as they pushed its lead to as many as 15 after a three from Fletcher Loyer made it 67-52 with 15:09 to play.
Loyer would finish his day with 27 points on 11-18 shooting (5-9 from three).
Luckily, Arizona would respond, answering with an 11-0 run as they cut Purdue's lead to just four with 10:31 remaining.
Arizona would continue to keep it close over the next several minutes too as their switch to a 2-3 zone gave Purdue fits, and slowed down their offensive dominance.
Unfortunately, after cutting it to 75-71 with 5:08 to play, that would be the closest Arizona would get in this one as Purdue closed out the game by outscoring the Wildcats 17-13, securing the 92-84 win.
With the loss, the Wildcats fall to 8-1 on the young season and will resume basketball action this Wednesday when they take on Alabama for yet another marquee non-conference matchup. Tip-off against the Crimson Tide is set for 9:00 PM MST!