(EVANSTON, ILL.)— The immovable object begins to teeter as the Purdue Boilermakers (23-3 |12-3) lose on the road to the Northwestern Wildcats (18-7 | 9-5) 64-58.
The top two teams in the Big Ten clashed in a gritty matchup in Welsh-Ryan Arena Sunday. It is the only time the two teams will meet for in season play and with the arena decorated wall to wall in black and purple it committed to a heavyweight brawl.
It was a battle that came down to who was to be victorious in the turnover margin that the Wildcats would win with 16 takeaways from the Boilermakers.
From the word go, both teams were filled with adrenaline and traded shots back and forth through the entire first half.
Not till halfway through the half Purdue would go on a 12-0 run for two minutes, with Mason Gillis capping it off by hitting his third three point shot of the half. That would give the Boilermakers their largest lead of 26-16.
The Boilermakers would go into halftime just barely holding off the Wildcats with the 37-30 lead.
Out of the break, it was pure defense from both squads with the first field goal not coming till Northwestern’s Boo Buie hit a jumper, nearly three minutes into the half 37-33.
The Boilermakers first points coming soon after that from their excellent day hitting 19-24 from the free throw line.
Still looking for their first spark of the half, Purdue turned to Zach Edey to jam the ball in the hoop that would be assisted by Ethan Morton. “Overrated” chants echoed throughout the arena that would then motivate Purdue to have an 8-0 run, to force a Northwestern timeout with 13:35 to go leading 47-39.
There was something in the air though that kept the Wildcats pestering the Boilermakers production as the best in the nation would have a downfall down the stretch.
Eight turnovers by the Boilermakers opened the game back up for the Wildcats. Chase Audige stealing the ball from Fletcher Loyer for a dunk was the pivotal moment in the final four minutes to bring the momentum back to the purple and black.
With the Boilermakers having their heads spin, the Wildcats swiped the lead back with a corner Chase Audige three, making it a Wildcats 59-57 lead. Two turnovers by Edey and Loyer would seal the game for Northwestern to win 64-58.
TOP PERFORMERS: Zach Edey (24p, 2a, 8r), Braeden Smith (10p, 4a, 3r), Mason Gillis (9p, 3a, 3r). For tonight’s full box score, click here.
NEXT UP: Purdue will take the next four days to lick their wounds as they go to Maryland on Thursday. Tip-off is set for 6:30PM.
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