Sunday afternoons are supposed to be easy, but for Purdue, Northwestern came into Mackey and gave them forty minutes of a fight before finally succumbing to the defending B10 champions, 74-69.
The Boilermakers rode their senior big man Isaac Haas, who had season-highs with 26 points and 9 rebounds.
His turn around floater with 43 seconds left on the clock gave Purdue it’s last and final lead of the game, but it wasn’t without its drama.
The following possession saw Dakota Mathias get his hand on a back-door pass, and as Vincent was gathering the ball he appeared to get hit, losing the ball to Northwestern who would swing the ball around against a rotating Purdue defense. A missed 3-pointer by Skelly from the corner might have been blocked by P. J. Thompson, but the offensive rebound and attempt at the rim following the miss was definitely swatted away by Matt Haarms who continues to impress in his freshman campaign.
Vincent Edwards would miss the second of his two free throws after the rebound, and McIntosh would miss an open look at 3 to tie the game. Vincent’s final two free throws would ice it for Purdue, who move on to 2-0 in conference play and winners of three straight.
The Boilers jumped to an early lead behind strong 3-point shooting from Dakota Mathias who finished with 9 points, but the Wildcats would tie the game up at half and Purdue could never pull away. Mathias continues to do everything for the Boilers. He added 5 rebounds and 5 assists, and held Scottie Lindsey to 1 of 6 shooting from deep.
While Haas controlled the game offensively and grabbed a season high in rebounds, he struggled to contain Derek Pardon at the other end. Pardon went off, drawing fouls and hitting mid-range shots when Haas failed to close out on him on his way to scoring 20 points before fouling out.
Ryan Cline came off the bench having just made 4 of his 23 3-point attempts on the season. He finished the game making 3 of his 4 attempts, including a huge late three that gave Purdue the lead. He also bailed out the offense with a couple late in the possession baskets.
This surge from Cline couldn’t have happened at a better time. Carsen Edwards dove for a loose ball, catching a forearm, and had to leave the game in the second half. He would not return to the floor. He had just six points on the night.
Vincent Edwards had 12 points and 8 rebounds, while being aggressive early. P. J. Thompson continues to be quiet on the offensive end, scoring just 3 points on two shots.
Matt Haarms is the real deal. He continues to be a presence on the defensive end. He scored four points early, but finished the game getting his 4th block of the game to help protect the late lead. He played just 12 minutes.
The Boilers hold off a back and forth game with the Wildcats and move to 2-0 in the conference and will host Valparaiso on Thursday, Dec. 7.