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The Rebound: Purdue 88 Northwestern 92

Purdue drops another game as the #1 team to Northwestern in disappointing but familiar fashion

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

New year, same result for the Purdue Boilermakers who got beat as the #1 team in the country on a road trip to visit the Northwestern Wildcats. Not much to say about it other than let’s get into it.

1 | Limit Good Looks for Boo Buie

Well, there is little to say here other than present the stat line that Buie had: 31 points on 10-20 shooting, 4 rebounds, 9 assists, 2 steals, and 0 turnovers. That’s a recipe to get beat and that’s obviously what happened. Purdue just didn’t have any answer for the All B1G guard. Buie is going to get his points but you can’t let him impact the entire game like he did and make it easy for him to then generate shots and looks for others.

Grade: D

Just an overall abysmal effort on the defensive end overall but really on Buie. Purdue gave up 92 points to a team that hasn’t played well on offense all season beyond scoring 89 on NIU. They also gave up 21 and 20 points to two other Wildcats. Buie was utterly amazing tonight but Purdue didn’t do enough to make it tough for him.

2 | Handle Northwestern’s Aggressive Play Style

Well, it’s pretty obvious with the 17 turnovers that led to 20 points for the Wildcats that the Boilers did not handle the aggressive play style well at all. Purdue started out wonderfully and got up 13 points but seemed to get away from itself and ended the first half really poorly. They came out for the second half even worse and saw their 8 points lead evaporate quickly.

Grade: F

You don’t turn the ball over 17 times and give up 20 points off those turnovers and get anything other than a failing grade. Those two stats are a copy/paste for nearly every single loss Purdue has suffered the last several years, the NCAA Tourney ones being the most glaring example that continues to haunt the Boilers.

3 | Get to the Foul Line and Make Your Free Throws

Purdue did an excellent job getting to the foul line against the Wildcats. Purdue was 31-41 from the free throw line and those types of numbers are usually able to overwhelm an opponent into submission. The issue is that Purdue allowed Northwestern to shoot 32 free throws of their own, 10 to Buie alone.

Grade: B

Even with giving up 32 free throws, Purdue still outscored the Wildcats by 11 points at the free throw line. Purdue did miss from front ends again and need to get their percentage upwards of 75% as a team.

And 1 | Zach Edey Needs 15 Shot Attempts

Edey definitely got to those 15 shot attempts given the fact he got 10-17 from the field. He also went 15-20 from the free throw line so those 17 attempts are more likely in the 22-25 range. Zach played a great game but he was let down by poor shooting from the guards and wings and bad turnovers again.

Grade: A

Edey did what he needed to do to win this game. Once he made the bucket to send it to OT, it looked like Purdue would use that momentum to win a tough game. Instead, they squandered the chances they had and turnovers trying to get the ball to Edey doomed them to a loss.

Prediction:

Purdue: 77
Northwestern: 67

Real Score:

Purdue: 88
Northwestern: 92

Well, Purdue did almost shoot as poorly as they did last year from behind the arc and had about as many turnovers as well. In that February game, Purdue went 5-22 from behind the arc and turned the ball over 16 times versus this game found Purdue shooting 5-19 and turning it over 17 times. Just a recipe for a disaster against an inferior opponent and one that continues to repeat itself all too often. Turnovers that lead to points for the opponent and prevent Purdue from gaining total control of a game.

It’s a gut punch to get over three years of losses like what Purdue fans endured in the NCAA Tourney and then to watch the most hyped team in program history do the exact same things that led to those losses. Is it a harbinger of what will plague Purdue or will it be a wake up call that they can’t afford off nights? You’d think that lesson would have been learned but apparently overlooking overmatches opponents is still a lesson unlearned.

Overall Grade: D

Player of the Game:

This is an easy one here and I’ll make it short. Edey went for 35 points on 10-17 shooting with 14 rebounds and 3 blocked shots. A massive game that should have been another feather in his cap towards another run at a NPOY award, especially given his heroics to tie the game with under 1 second left.

Play of the Game: