Men’s Basketball: Northwestern falls to Purdue on Senior Day, 70-57

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Men’s Basketball: Northwestern falls to Purdue on Senior Day, 70-57

Dererk Pardon scores two points. The senior center struggled in his final home game.

Dererk Pardon scores two points. The senior center struggled in his final home game.

Daily file photo by Alison Albelda

Dererk Pardon scores two points. The senior center struggled in his final home game.

Daily file photo by Alison Albelda

Daily file photo by Alison Albelda

Dererk Pardon scores two points. The senior center struggled in his final home game.

Greg Svirnovskiy, Reporter

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Men’s Basketball


Dererk Pardon teared up as he entered the court at the new Welsh-Ryan Arena for the final time as a Northwestern player. As he watched the tribute video prepared for him and his fellow seniors on the Jumbotron and heard the crowd sing his name in unison, Pardon let it out.

“It’s something I can’t really put into words,” Pardon said. “Just seeing the journey I’ve had over the last four years, it’s just been amazing to me. I never thought I would be here. So just for me to go through these experiences with my teammates, I wouldn’t give it up for the world.”

Pardon finished the game with 8 points and two assists on 3-11 shooting to go along with three turnovers. He attributed his sloppy performance to the emotions of the game.

But what he couldn’t have imagined was the night going even more poorly for senior forward Vic Law, who was carried off the floor late in the game with a lower body injury after colliding with a Purdue player. With NU’s best two players struggling or out of the game altogether, the Cats (13-18, 4-16 Big Ten) fell 70-57 against the Boilermakers (23-8, 16-4).

Senior Day — the final home game for seniors Pardon, Law and Jordan Ash; redshirt juniors Charlie Hall and Aaron Falzon; and graduate transfer Ryan Taylor — started with a bang, as Law hit a 3-pointer in the game’s first possession.

But things quickly turned awry for the Cats, as the Boilermakers jumped out to a 10-3 lead and never looked back. The 3-0 and then 3-2 leads NU had after Law’s first shot were their only leads of the game.

“Personally I just feel like, you know the emotions of senior night kind of got to me,” Pardon said. “I feel like that happens. But I mean I continued to battle with my teammates and I wanted us to fight to the finish, and I feel like that’s what we did.”

Collins choked up when describing what Pardon meant to the program, recalling how the senior burned a redshirt during his freshman year to help NU down the stretch in 2015.

“To me there’s just a picture of Dererk when someone says, ‘What is a Northwestern basketball player,’” Collins said. “He’s a special guy. All he does is come every day and he just asks what you need of him.”

Collins shifted similar praise on Law, who leaves NU ranked in the top 10 in school history for rebounds, made 3-pointers and double-doubles.

Law was forced off late in the second half with a lower body injury after colliding with Purdue’s Carsen Edwards. While Collins didn’t have much information on his long-term status, he said he knows Law will fight to get back on the court for postseason play if possible.

“I know Vic’s gonna do everything in his power to keep going,” Collins said. “He’s a fighter. I know if there’s a way for him to keep playing he will, but we’ll find out more.”

It was also the final home game for Hall, a walk on who entered the pregame ceremony surrounded by his parents, comedians Julia Louis-Dreyfus (Communication ’83) and Brad Hall (Communication ’80).

Hall, who got the news that he’d be starting that morning, made his 20th career appearance and first career start for the Cats. Owing to a prolific social media presence, Hall has developed into somewhat of a cult hero for fans, something he is proud of.

‘It’s just nice to have such a fan base that embraces you and cheers for you even though you’re not really getting in like the heavy minute guys,” Hall said.

Email: gregorysvirnovskiy2022@u.northwestern.edu
Twitter: @GSvirnovskiy

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