Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern


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Men’s Basketball: Northwestern gives No. 2 Purdue all it can handle in 105-96 overtime loss

Senior+guard+Ty+Berry+contests+Purdue+guard+Lance+Jones%E2%80%99+jumper.+Berry+poured+in+25+points+against+the+Boilermakers+Wednesday.
Angeli Mittal/Daily Senior Staffer
Senior guard Ty Berry contests Purdue guard Lance Jones’ jumper. Berry poured in 25 points against the Boilermakers Wednesday.

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Behind its battle tested champion, graduate student guard Boo Buie, Northwestern frenetically fended off the national player of the year and his AP No. 1 squad’s two attempted Welsh-Ryan Arena invasions in 2023.

However, coach Chris Collins’ group departed Evanston Wednesday, facing perhaps its most daunting quest yet — marching into Mackey Arena for a midweek melee against No. 2 Purdue.

“Not many people come in here and win,” Collins said. “They have great teams, and this crowd is awesome in such a fun environment to play in.”

Despite a valiant charge to the finish, the Wildcats (15-6, 6-4 Big Ten) suffered the same fate as the 10 groups that came before them this season, dropping a 105-96 overtime defeat to the Boilermakers (20-2, 9-2 Big Ten).

A feat too grand for each road challenger since February 2023, no team dared venture into All-American center Zack Edey’s territory without taking a tumultuous turn. The 7-foot-4 program pedestal and his stellar supporting cast entered the season with national championship aspirations, and they’ve more than looked the part with a perfect home record.

Collins said preparing for the big man provided its own persistent challenges.

“He’s a terrific player, and he deserves everything that’s coming to him,” Collins said of Edey. “You can’t simulate him in practice. … He’s one of the all-time greats at the college level.”

Some 14,000 supporters draped in black and gold unleashed a thunderous roar from the opening tip, echoing their enthusiasm with each positive Purdue swing. But, NU hit back as Buie and senior guard Ty Berry combined for 27 first-half points to contend in an old-fashioned barnburner.

Although Collins said he put a pregame emphasis on slashing the lane, the triple swiftly became his team’s weapon of choice. The ’Cats converted 8-of-13 first half 3-pointers, keeping them afloat against their heavily favored, post-dominant foe.

With most eyes fixed on the frontcourt, guards set the frame’s tone. Although Edey poured in just six first-half points, Boilermakers guards Fletcher Loyer and Lance Jones jolted Purdue to a 47-39 advantage at the break.

Less than five miles from his high school stomping grounds, junior guard Brooks Barnhizer brought life to NU’s second-half surge, securing a steal and fastbreak layup to vault the ’Cats in front with about 12 minutes remaining.

Both teams continued exchanging haymakers like prizefighters, showcasing NU’s ability to go the distance with the nation’s best on any given night. The Boilermakers’ backbreaking run didn’t come in regulation. 

As Edey struggled to find consistency from the charity stripe, it appeared the team with the last possession would prevail in Wednesday’s Big Ten brawl. With less than 10 seconds remaining, Buie toted the rock with the chance to add another chapter to the mythical tale of his play the past five seasons. 

Tie ballgame, game on the line, everyone in the arena knew the upcoming script. His team’s fate in the balance, Buie worked his way into the painted area.

Looking to slay the nation’s loftiest giant, Buie sent a prayer beyond Edey and toward the hoop — his patented floater. Unlike many of his storied game-clinching moments, the graduate student guard’s attempt fell short, crashing off the rim and back into play.

“In all things being considered, we had a shot at the buzzer to win it with our best guy — with his best shot — that didn’t go in,” Collins said. 

Almost two months after the team’s last tilt, 40 regulation minutes couldn’t separate the score. Five minutes of overtime action ensued.

Through two minutes of extra hoops, Purdue coach Matt Painter and Collins’ sides maintained their wire-to-wire wrangle, with Berry’s equalizing triple the latest segment of the saga in an 87-87 tie. 

However, Edey and company packed the last laugh, capitalizing on NU’s depleted rotation due to foul trouble to build a multi-possession lead. When all was said and done, Collins and Buie picked up technical fouls — with Collins exiting early via an ejection — to add one last element to a classic clash.

“That was just a really high level game tonight from two really good teams,” Collins said. “(It) showed a lot about our guys to really fight — to hang in there. This was a really tough place to play, a terrific team, well coached.”

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @jakeepste1n

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Rapid Recap: No. 2 Purdue 105, Northwestern 96 (OT)

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