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 engages in physical battle in OT loss to No. 2 Purdue

Senior+guard+Ty+Berry+jumps+to+block+Purdue+guard+Lance+Jones%E2%80%99+pass+attempt.+Berry+collected+a+season-high+six+3-point+makes+on+Wednesday.
Angeli Mittal/Daily Senior Staffer
Senior guard Ty Berry jumps to block Purdue guard Lance Jones’ pass attempt. Berry collected a season-high six 3-point makes on Wednesday.

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Around this time last year, Northwestern shocked the nation by upsetting then-No. 1 Purdue for its first-ever victory over an AP No. 1 team in program history.

Coach Chris Collins’ group did it again nearly 10 months later, handing yet another No. 1 squad out of West Lafayette, Indiana its first loss of the season.

In those two games, NU was able to contain one of the nation’s leading offenses to a meager 24.5% 3-point shooting and secure a 33-12 turnover advantage, utilizing key takeaways and stops to squeeze out hard-fought victories.

With the Boilermakers (20-2, 9-2 Big Ten) back on the schedule, this time away from home, the Wildcats (15-6, 6-4 Big Ten) were unable to repeat their magic, falling in a 105-96 overtime loss Wednesday.

Physicality and foul trouble defined the game on both sides of the ball as the Boilermakers dominated down low. The hosts consistently drove the ball and successfully drew contact, resulting in 46 free throw attempts — their highest total in a conference game this season.

On the other hand, NU tallied just eight trips to the charity stripe, marking a discrepancy that Collins said was not reflective of his squad’s intensity and play.

“I don’t know if you’ve ever seen a disparity like that in a Big Ten game,” Collins said. “I feel like we were aggressive though, too. Boo (Buie) doesn’t shoot a free throw in the game? It’s kind of crazy, but that’s how the game is called.”

Collins was ejected from the contest with 1.7 seconds left in the game, visibly fed up with the officiating after arguing with a referee and receiving a technical foul.

Contributing to his frustration was reigning National Player of the Year Zach Edey, who once again paved the way for Purdue. The center controlled the paint with a game-leading 30 points and 15 rebounds, while converting 8-of-17 free throws. 

This season, Edey is averaging a nation-leading 10.5 free throw attempts per game — along with a conference-high 23 points and 11.6 rebounds per game.

With his defensive game plan centered on the 7-foot-4 center, Collins commended Edey’s unrivaled presence on the court.

“I’ve never probably coached or played against anyone who just starts the game in such a positive way,” Collins said. “He’s so hard to prepare (for).”

Edey’s presence also forced the ‘Cats into foul trouble, with three players fouling out by the end of overtime. Senior center Matthew Nicholson fouled out with three minutes left in regulation, and sophomore forward Luke Hunger picked up his fifth foul two minutes into overtime.

With two key big men out of play, Edey flourished in their absence, scoring 10 consecutive points in the overtime period.

Unable to keep up in the post, the ‘Cats resorted to attacking from the 3-point line, which kept them in the game through the second half.

Buie’s career-high seven 3-pointers in a conference game, in addition to six treys from senior guard Ty Berry, led a long-range barrage that resulted in a season-high 14 makes from behind the arc.

“We wanted to get into the paint in our pick and rolls and then take what the defense gave us,” Collins said. “But it just so happened that the threes were there”

Unfortunately for NU, Buie and Berry’s combined 50 points were not enough to contain a surging Purdue squad that secured its 11th straight home win.

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @lucaskim_15

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