Rapid Recap: No. 23 Purdue 80, No. 25 Northwestern 59

Sanjay+Lumpkin+is+contested+at+the+rim.+The+senior+forward+struggled+against+Purdue%27s+size+in+Northwestern%27s+blowout+loss+Wednesday.
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Rapid Recap: No. 23 Purdue 80, No. 25 Northwestern 59

Sanjay Lumpkin is contested at the rim. The senior forward struggled against Purdue's size in Northwestern's blowout loss Wednesday.

Sanjay Lumpkin is contested at the rim. The senior forward struggled against Purdue's size in Northwestern's blowout loss Wednesday.

Daly file photo by Rachel Dubner

Sanjay Lumpkin is contested at the rim. The senior forward struggled against Purdue's size in Northwestern's blowout loss Wednesday.

Daly file photo by Rachel Dubner

Daly file photo by Rachel Dubner

Sanjay Lumpkin is contested at the rim. The senior forward struggled against Purdue's size in Northwestern's blowout loss Wednesday.

Aidan Markey, Assistant Sports Editor

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Men’s Basketball


After six-straight Big Ten wins, Northwestern found itself ranked for the first time since 2009. But the 2016-17 Wildcats followed the example set eight years ago and failed to capitalize on the momentum.

The No. 25 Wildcats (18-5, 7-3 Big Ten) fell to No. 23 Purdue (18-5, 7-3) on the road Wednesday, losing 80-59 and never challenging the surging Boilermakers, whose hot start set the stage for the rout.

The Cats opened with four-straight points before going cold offensively, as Purdue caught fire from beyond the arc. The hosts hit 9-of-15 3 pointers before the break as NU struggled to find any rhythm, tallying just eight field goals and failing to score from deep entering halftime. Purdue took advantage of that offensive lull, holding the Cats to their lowest first half output of the season.

Junior guard Bryant McIntosh posted another strong performance but failed to flip the narrative. The captain notched 22 points and 4 assists in the defeat, and showed flashes of tremendous one-on-one ability in the game.

Ultimately, it wasn’t enough. Though the Cats held even with Purdue for the majority of the second half, the Boilermakers maintained a lead behind the dominant play from sophomore forward Caleb Swanigan. Swanigan and junior center Isaac Haas smothered NU’s frontcourt, which went a combined 8-for-20 from the field with 13 fouls.

With the first half setting the tone for the remainder of the game, the Cats disappointed in their first game since earning recognition by the AP Poll.

Takeaways

1. Northwestern struggles to defend the 3

Coach Chris Collins said Tuesday that Purdue’s 3-point arsenal made it dangerous, especially when much of the Cats’ focus would be on the interior. Just minutes into the contest, Collins proved all too right.

The Boilermakers’ blistering 6-of-8 start from beyond the arc put NU on its heels immediately. As the Cats looked to pressure Purdue’s impressive post tandem, the hosts found themselves consistently open from deep. Vincent Edwards led with 17 points on 5-of-7 shooting from 3, as the Boilermakers’ hot hand doomed NU in the 21-point loss.

2. The Wildcats offense sputters without Scottie Lindsey

Scottie Lindsey was out with an illness, and NU certainly missed him. Though the junior guard only tallied 17 total points in the two previous contests, his ability to spread the floor has been a consistent boost to the Cats offense.

Without Lindsey on the floor, NU’s offense proved much easier to guard. Sophomore forward Vic Law failed to pick up the slack, scoring just 1 point, while freshman guard Isiah Brown added 11 points on just 4-of-14 from the field as Lindsey’s replacement in the starting lineup.

3. Caleb Swanigan lives up to the hype

The Big Ten and National Player of the Year candidate has rolled through the season, and Wednesday’s game was no different. Swanigan added onto his nation-best double-double count with 24 points and 16 boards in 33 minutes. His daunting presence in the low post drew double-teams all night, leading to the 3-point onslaught that defined the first half.

Swanigan’s exceptional play continued through the second half. He showed his ability to stretch the floor with a 3-point shot and controlled the paint with his versatile low-post skill set before fouling out in the game’s meaningless final minute.

Stats
– Vic Law: 0-for-7 from the floor
– Dererk Pardon finished with six points and three rebounds
– Northwestern managed just eight total assists, compared to Purdue’s 17

Email: aidanmarkey2019@u.northwestern.edu
Twitter: @AidanMarkey

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