Men’s Basketball: Boo Buie and Chase Audige Catalysts in NU’s upset of the ages over No. 1 Purdue


Alyce Brown/The Daily Northwestern

Senior guard Boo Buie stares down multiple Purdue defenders. In Northwestern’s historic win over No.1 Purdue, Buie stole the show with 26 points, three steals and three blocks.

Aayushya Agarwal, Reporter

Super Bowl Sunday? Don’t let anyone fool you: AP No. 1 Purdue’s (23-3, 12-3 Big Ten) visit to Northwestern (18-7, 9-5 Big Ten) was Sunday’s biggest game for Evanston.

Despite the projections for an upsetting loss, the Wildcats denied the No. 1 team in college basketball a victory at Welsh-Ryan Arena.

Led by senior guard Boo Buie’s 26 points and redshirt senior guard Chase Audige’s 15 points, the Cats epically defeated the Boilermakers 64-58, coming back late in the second half to garner the program’s first ever win over a number-one ranked team.

Buie was an integral part in Sunday’s contest from tip-off, being a lethal threat on offense and facilitating the ball to his teammates inside the paint. The senior guard continued to stay aggressive early on, scoring a running layup and a second chance floater to trim the Cats’ once ten-point deficit down to two.

“Offensively, I just tried to make the right reads and be super aggressive and try to stay downhill and put pressure on the defense,” Buie said. “I was able to get to my mid-range and to my little floater shot and hit a three.”

While Purdue’s phenom center Zach Edey continued ticking the scoreboard for the Boilermakers from hookshot after hookshot, Buie’s continued presence on the offensive end kept NU in the game for the remainder of the first half. The senior guard contributed 13 of the Cats’ 30 first half points. Although Buie held down the scoring for NU, Audige was evidently struggling, going scoreless by the intermission.

As Audige continued to struggle offensively to open the second half, Buie remained poised. Even though he saw two of his shots blocked early in the half by the Boilermakers’ Edey, he remained steady, nailing two free throws and a floater over the prospective college basketball National Player of the Year. Minutes later, Buie responded to a few made shots by Edey by making an and-one fast break layup to cut NU’s deficit to four midway through the second half.

Thankfully for the Cats, Audige woke up just in time, scoring his first points on a pull-up three at the 15-minute mark of the second half. A pull-up jumper by the redshirt senior minutes later allowed NU’s offense to find a secondary source of production outside of Buie.

“Even though I had that stretch at the end, Boo kept us in it the whole time,” Audige said. “He was just the man to build off that confidence. One shot went through, and the rim started looking a little bigger.”

Coach Chris Collins said the Cats’ dynamic duo’s presence in Purdue’s backcourt down the stretch fueled the last minute offensive run to close the squad’s victory over the Boilermakers. The tag team made nine of NU’s 10 made field goals in the second half.

As Edey continued to carry the Boilermakers, scoring six consecutive points, Audige persevered through his first half scoring slump, recording 10 of the Cats’ 12 points in the final stretch of the game and nailing all three of the Cats’ made three pointers in the second half. Despite his attacking struggles early, Collins said Audige’s resiliency to remain active on the court and take shots is one of the many reasons he is a vital asset to the squad.

“Not a lot of guys can miss a lot of shots and not have that affect their mindset,” Collins said on Audige’s performance. “A guy like Chase always feels like he’s going to make the next one. Down the stretch, I thought he was awesome.”

At the same time, both Audige and Buie were lights out defensively, stealing inbound passes and grabbing steals on Boilermakers guards that led to Cats’ fastbreak points off turnovers. When the final buzzer sounded, Buie concluded with three steals and three blocks, while Audige tallied two steals.

After Sunday’s momentous victory, Audige had one simple message as the team aims to finish the remainder of the conference season strong and prepare for a postseason run in March.

“Stay hungry,” Audige said. “It’s not over yet — we need to continue to do what we need to do to make a run.

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Twitter: @aayushyagarwal7

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