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#5 Purdue 70, Northwestern 64 - Whistling Windy City Win

Purdue traveled to Evanston and picked up a big win to retake the lead in the Big Ten.

NCAA Basketball: Purdue at Northwestern David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

#5 Purdue finally got a couple days off, and it showed on the court as they traveled to Northwestern and beat the Wildcats 70-64.

Purdue dominated most the second half, including holding a double-digit lead for most of it, but as has been the case this season, their large lead dwindled in the final few moments. Northwestern never seriously challenged, but Purdue’s poor free throw shooting late kept a team in it longer than they should have.

Purdue moves to 23-4 overall as they fight for a #1 seed in the NCAA Tournament, but more importantly the Boilers move up in the Big Ten standings.

Big man Zach Edey started the game strong for Purdue, using his size to bully Northwestern down low and dominate the rebounds. Both teams were sloppy in the first half, and the game was closer than Coach Painter would have liked, but Northwestern just doesn’t have anyone to match Edey’s size and force. He finished the game with 14 points on 8 rebounds on 6 of 8 shooting.

Purdue will take a comfortable win on the road in the Big Ten, especially when they watched Illinois lose their fourth conference game at Rutgers earlier in the night. That means Purdue finishes the night as the leader in the Big Ten with a 12-4 conference record.

Purdue did this despite their star guard Jaden Ivey struggling from the floor again. Ivey had just 8 points on 2 of 12 shooting. The guard has struggled of late with his jumper and he missed all 5 of his attempts tonight. It’s the first time this season the sophomore didn’t score in double-digits.

Mason Gillis had been struggling with his shot as well, but he snapped out of it big time, scoring 11 points, including making 3 of his 4 three-point attempts including his first three attempts. He had been 0-7 over his last two games.

Purdue’s athleticism and length was too much for Northwestern. They out rebounded the Wildcats 32-26. Purdue held Northwestern to 35% from the floor and under 30% from the three point line. It wasn’t Purdue’s best offensive performance, but they did just enough on the defensive end to hold the Wildcats back.

But what matters most, in what was an inconsistent, messy, and terribly officiated game - this unbelievable highlight was taken away from all of us.

In the words of someone once, it’s a damn shame.