March 1, 2008
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - No. 16 Purdue rode the strength of a run early in the second half to top Northwestern 68-43 Saturday afternoon at Mackey Arena. Freshman Ivan Peljusic scored all of his team-high 13 points in the first half for the Wildcats.
Following a first half that saw NU limit Purdue to 30.4 percent (7-23) shooting from the field, the Wildcats were down by just one at 24-23 at the break. Northwestern (8-19, 1-15) shot 47.6 percent (10-21) over the opening 20 minutes of play but an uncharacteristic nine turnovers, prevented the 'Cats from having a lead.
With the Boilermakers (23-6, 14-2) keying on Craig Moore and Kevin Coble, Peljusic took advantage of the opportunity to step up. After setting a career high with 13 points in a win at Michigan on Tuesday, the freshman forward posted 13 of NU's first 20 points.
Trailing 8-3 early, the Wildcats used a 13-3 run to take their largest lead of the game at 16-11. A 3-pointer by Marcus Green with 2:13 left in the opening half would give Purdue a 24-23 advantage it would eventually take into the intermission.
Michael Thompson, who was limited to seven minutes of play in the first half due to foul trouble, opened the second half by hitting a trey to put Northwestern up by two. However, the Boilermakers answered with an 18-4 run to pull ahead 42-30 with just over 13 minutes remaining.
The Wildcats were within nine one minute later, but Purdue scored 18 of the next 19 points to put the game out of reach.
Northwestern shot 39.5 percent (17-43) for the game compared to 45.5 percent (20-44) for the Boilermakers. Coble was the only other Wildcat player other than Peljusic to score in double figures, tallying 10 points to go along with seven rebounds. Robbie Hummel led Purdue with 15.
The 'Cats return to action at 8 p.m. Tuesday when they host Iowa at Welsh-Ryan Arena.