EVANSTON — For the final time, Northwestern’s seniors took the floor at Welsh-Ryan Arena.
The Wildcats (13-18, 4-16) ended their regular season with a 70-57 loss to Purdue (23-8, 16-4), which clinched a share of the Big Ten regular season title with the win.
Before the game Charlie Hall, Ryan Taylor, Jordan Ash, Aaron Falzon, Vic Law and Dererk Pardon were honored, watching a montage of top career moments on the JumboTron as part of a ceremony that brought many to tears.
In the final home game of his Northwestern career, Charlie Hall started his first career game. In 2:22 of game action, Hall took no shots and had one foul, before getting taken out for Miller Kopp. Hall left the floor to an ovation from the Welsh-Ryan Arena crowd.
The biggest moment of the game — and the worst — came when Vic Law collided with Carsen Edwards while making a cut late in the second half. Law was pounding the floor in pain, and Chris Collins yelled for help after what looked like a shin injury, though that’s just a guess. Law returned to the bench, but not the game. Just a terrible way to end his final home game in a Northwestern uniform.
As for the game, Northwestern fought until the game ended, but was just out-matched by a superior team with too much size for the Wildcats to handle.
After a deep Law three to start the game, Purdue ripped of a 10-0 run to take control. Carsen Edwards, who scored 21 points on the afternoon, was doing Carsen Edwards things in the early going. He started off hot, pouring in most of his 12 first half points in the opening minutes. He cooled off from there, however, airballing multiple shots.
Northwestern cut the lead down, but a Chris Collins technical toward the end of the half after a questionable foul call on Dererk Pardon allowed the lead to swell. Four Boilermakers hit threes in the first half, and Purdue used 5-of-16 shooting from beyond-the-arc to take an 8-point lead into halftime.
In the second half, Purdue answered nearly every Wildcat mini-run with a crowd-quieting basket. Law, Falzon and A.J. Turner — who wore Jordan Ash’s No. 23 with Ash on the back to honor the injured senior — all hit threes to trim the lead, but every time it felt like Northwestern could get close or make a run, Carsen Edwards got in the lane or Matt Haarms got an offensive rebound or lay-up for the Boilermakers. Purdue out-rebounded Northwestern 37-26, including 10-2 on offensive boards in the win.
Northwestern’s three-point shooting kept it in the game, but, ultimately, there just wasn’t enough scoring for the Wildcats to hang with a top-15 team. Against the bigger Haarms, Pardon scored just 8 points on 3-of-11 shooting. Turner and Law combined for 27 points, but that wasn’t nearly enough.