Another thriller between two Big Ten West teams, but it didn’t end the same as the last two.
Northwestern (15-6, 6-4 Big Ten) lost 105-96 in overtime to No. 2 Purdue (20-2, 9-2 B1G) in a game that showcased NU’s mettle, competing for 45 hard minutes in Mackey Arena.
The Wildcats were led by Boo Buie and Ty Berry, who each finished with 25 points, converting at least six threes apiece. For the Boilermakers, Zach Edey was unstoppable, scoring 30 points and grabbing 15 boards. Lance Jones aided in the win with 26 points with five threes.
Purdue jumped out to a 5-0 lead, but a three from Berry cut it to a two-point game. A couple of possessions later, Buie could not handle a fast break, and it turned into a monster Edey jam, bringing an already raucous crow to its feet. But Berry’s second triple kept NU in the matchup, trailing 9-6 at the under-16 timeout.
Out of the break, Fletcher Loyer snuck his way to the rim, but Nick Martinelli responded with a shot clock expiring three. Continuing his stellar start, Berry connected on his third from beyond the arc, cutting the deficit to 14-12. However, the fouls started to add up for the Wildcats, picking up five in less than eight minutes. The teams traded buckets, but a Buie three tied it up, and Barnhizer banged his way for the lead on the next possession. By the time the under-12 hit, NU held a 21-19 lead.
Back on the floor, Buie committed two straight turnovers off bad passes, but PU could not capitalize with Edey off the floor. Buie made up for the past mistakes on the next possession, beating Edey to the rim, but Edey answered right back with a slam. Both squads seemed to answer each time down the floor, keeping this one even at 25-25 with 6:42 left in the half.
NU struggled out of the break, coughing it up and air balling a triple. In the blink of an eye, it was a 9-0 Purdue run, and it led 30-25. Another bad offensive showing turned into a three for the Boilermakers, and what was a NU lead quickly faded in a sea of black and gold.
Langborg got a mid-range jumper to fall, ending a 12-0 run, but Jones answered with a triple, and Purdue’s lead surpassed double digits. Buie nailed a triple to make it eight, and on the next possession, the ball pinballed all around the court until it ended up with the Wildcats. One possession later, Buie pulled up from Evanston and hit, cutting Purdue’s lead to four. However, the Boilermakers rattled off five points in a flash, pushing the lead back to nine. With 10 seconds left, Berry hit his fourth three to cut it to six, but he committed a bad foul, allowing Braden Smith to sink a pair at the line, closing an eventful half with a 47-39 Purdue lead.
Out of the locker room, Barnhizer spun and found the bottom of the net on a baby fade, and Berry drilled one from nearly half-court to cut the deficit to three. However, Buie had to come out of the game with an injury. With Buie out, PU pushed its lead back to six. Buie checked back in a couple of minutes later, but NU could not crack Purdue’s tight advantage, trailing 53-48 at the under-16.
Buie suddenly sank his fourth three of the game, making it a one-score game with 15 minutes to go. Like many other contests this season, NU found itself staring at the bonus with 14 minutes to go in the half. Buie and Co. kept making shots, and Barnhizer took a steal coast-to-coast to retake the lead; however, Mason Gills drilled a deep three to hand it right back to Purdue. Ryan Langborg started to find his groove, tiptoeing the baseline for a reverse layup, but Purdue earned its seventh foul and was shooting from the under-12 on.
Out of the break, Buie’s scorching night from deep continued with his fifth three of the evening, handing the Wildcats back a one-point lead. On Purdue’s trip down the floor, Barnhizer got overzealous and reached in, but Trey Kaufman-Renn could not convert the one-and-one. After multiple empty trips for the ‘Cats, Edey grabbed an offensive rebound and slammed it home to retake the lead. With the teams trading fouls, the under-eight sounded in a 63-62 game.
Back on the floor, Nicholson slammed one home, Purdue smoked two layups and Berry drained a contested fade to give NU a three-point lead; however, Jones responded with a three of his own to tie it up. The ‘Cats and Jones traded buckets until Collins burned a timeout while clinging to a 70-69 lead.
Buie and Edey trade buckets off the timeout, but a bad offensive possession from Martinelli allowed Purdue to tie it back up on its next trip down the floor when Gillis converted a pair from the charity stripe. It doesn’t matter because Buie nailed a one-legged, fade-away three over Edey to take a three-point lead. After Edey missed two free throws, Buie found Barnhizer under the rim to push Northwestern’s lead to five. Yet, Jones did not let Purdue go quietly into the night, splashing a corner three to bring it back to a two-point game. One possession later, Edey finished a putback jam to tie the game at 78-78 with 90 seconds to go.
Out of the timeout, Berry’s short runner did not get high enough off the glass, and Purdue corralled the board and called a timeout with 69 seconds left. On the possession, the Boilermakers found Edey inside, who finished through contact but could not convert a three-point play. On the other side, Berry was fouled while attempting a three, and he made all three to give NU a one-point lead with 33 seconds left. Purdue missed its shot, but Edey wrestled away the board and got fouled, but only made one, so the game was tied at 81-81.
NU called an isolation for Buie to win the game, but he was fouled by Jones, trying to take the ball away, with 6.2 seconds left in the game. As the clock expired, Buie’s shot clanked off the front rim, so there were five minutes of free basketball.
In overtime, Edey got the baby hook to fall, but Blake Preston answered with an alley-oop. Edey went right back with a slam, and a pair of free throws gave PU an 87-84 lead, but Berry responded with a three to tie it up.
It was the Edey Show in overtime, slamming home two more to make it a four-point game with 2:11 left in the period. Loyer pushed the lead to six, but an and-one from Barnhizer rendered things a one-score game with 90 seconds left. After drawing an offensive foul, Buie could not get to the rim to cut the deficit. On Purdue’s next time down the floor, Loyer drilled an open three to make it a six-point game with 38 seconds left to play. NU did not go away, grasping to a one-score matchup with 11.9 seconds left, but Purdue held on to a 105-96 victory by tacking on technical shots.
In the waning moments of the game, Collins got into it with the officials, getting tossed from the game as time expired.
Northwestern returns to the hardwood Saturday in Minneapolis for a second straight road matchup at Minnesota. Tip is set for 1 p.m. CT.