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Graves leads Butler past Purdue in Wooden Tradition matchup

Dec 16, 2006 - 10:55 PM INDIANAPOLIS (Ticker) -- A.J. Graves and Butler made a good first impression at the Wooden Tradition.

Graves scored 25 points and the Bulldogs won their debut in the event with a 68-65 victory over Purdue at Conseco Fieldhouse.

Before this season, Butler had never been invited to compete in the event named for former Boilermakers player and legendary UCLA coach John Wooden. Graves helped the Bulldogs (11-1) make a successful debut by scoring 13 of his points in the second half.

Purdue (8-2) took its last lead, 64-63, on a dunk by Carl Landry with 2:05 to play. Brandon Crone responded with a three-point play with 59 seconds left and Mike Green hit two free throws in the final 27 seconds to seal the win.

Crone came up big despite struggling for most of the game. He made only 2-of-13 shots from the field but his driving layup and free throw gave the Bulldogs the lead for good.

Graves entered the game shooting only 36 percent from the field but found his range against the Boilermakers. He made 8-of-14 shots, including 4-of-7 from the arc, for Butler, which improved to 3-0 here this season.

Mike Green scored 18 points and was the only other Bulldog in double figures.

Gordon Watt had 20 points and Landry and Chris Kramer each chipped in 12 for Purdue.

Purdue nearly pulled off the upset despite an off night from Landry. The 6-7 forward entered the game averaging 20 points and 8.1 rebounds but was only 2-of-5 from the field. He finished with five rebounds and five turnovers.

Purdue had a chance to tie after Green missed the second of two free throws with nine seconds to go, but Tarrance Crump missed a long 3-pointer at the buzzer.

The Boilermakers committed 19 turnovers which the Bulldogs converted into 23 points. The Big Ten Player of the Week the past three weeks, Landry missed his only shot and had four of Purdue's 12 first-half turnovers.