FACTS & STATS: Site: Mackey Arena (14,240) -- West Lafayette, Indiana. Television: Big Ten Network. Home Record: Northwestern 8-9, Purdue 9-5. Away Record: Northwestern 3-5, Purdue 3-6. Neutral Record: Northwestern 2-0, Purdue 0-3. Conference Record: Northwestern 4-10, Purdue 5-8. Series Record: Purdue leads, 122-44.
GAME NOTES: A couple of teams sitting under .500 at the moment get together in Indiana on Sunday as the Purdue Boilermakers clash with the Northwestern Wildcats in Big Ten Conference action at Mackey Arena.
Losers of three in a row, the Boilermakers are now 5-8 in conference play after bowing to Indiana last weekend on the road in a lopsided 83-55 final. The setback was the fifth in the last six games for the program.
As for the Wildcats, they've been taken down in four straight outings and six of the last seven and are now just 4-10 in league play. In action earlier this week, Northwestern hosted and lost to Wisconsin on Wednesday night, 69-41. Of their last nine defeats, not once have the Wildcats reached 60 points.
Northwestern won the first meeting of the season earlier this month with a 75-60 triumph at home. The all-time series now stands at 122-44 in favor of the Boilermakers.
The Wildcats registered a total of just four made field goals in the first half against Wisconsin in Evanston, falling behind by a 28-12 score at the break and were never able to recover. Reggie Hearn was the only player to score in double figures for the hosts with 13 points in 38 minutes of action, but he shot only 4-of-14 from the field as the team finished at 29.4 percent from the floor overall.
In conference play the Wildcats are scoring a mere 56.2 ppg as they shoot a collective 38.5 percent from the field and 31.2 percent beyond the arc. Making matters worse, Northwestern is also hitting free throws at just 64.8 percent and is being crushed on the glass by a 12.1 rpg margin. Hearn stands as the top scorer for the group with 13.4 ppg and he was followed by Jared Swopshire with 10.6 ppg, but the latter has landed on the injured list and will not be returning this season after having surgery to his right knee.
The Boilermakers were within striking distance against top-ranked Indiana at the break last time out, but then the Hoosiers opened the second half on a 12-4 run and kept running away from Purdue in the 28-point decision. Purdue was paced by Terone Johnson and Anthony Johnson who each had 11 points, as the visitors shot just 37.5 percent from the floor and allowed Indiana to make good on 55.6 percent from the field.
Terone Johnson leads the team in scoring on the season with 12.9 ppg, although his 39.1 percent shooting from the field is only overshadowed by his mere 58.6 percent accuracy at the free-throw line. A.J. Hammons checks in with 11.0 ppg and is also first on the glass for the program with 6.6 rpg, to go along with his 54 blocked shots.
With injuries taking their toll on both sides, neither program is operating at full strength these days, although the Boilermakers have not been hit nearly as hard as Northwestern.