Northwestern (12-18) at Purdue (15-15)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Sunday, March 9, 12 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Mackey Arena (14,240) -- West Lafayette, Indiana. Television: Big Ten Network. Home Record: Northwestern 8-9, Purdue 12-4. Away Record: Northwestern 4-7, Purdue 2-8. Neutral Record: Northwestern 0-2, Purdue 1-3. Conference Record: Northwestern 5-12, Purdue 5-12. Series Record: Purdue leads, 123-45.
GAME NOTES: Both the Northwestern Wildcats and the Purdue Boilermakers take extensive losing streaks into their final match of the regular season, as the two teams clash in a Big Ten Conference battle at Mackey Arena.
Northwestern brings a seven-game skid into the regular-season finale, and also a conference record of 5-12, which is tied with Purdue for the worst mark in the league. The Wildcats were dropped by Penn State on Thursday night, 59-32, in a horrific offensive display by Northwestern.
Purdue had lost five straight games, and six of the team's last seven coming into this final regular season match. The Boilermakers were defeated 76-70 by ninth-ranked Wisconsin on Wednesday night, which dropped them to 5-12 in the conference.
Purdue has an absolutely immense lead in the all-time series against Northwestern, 123-45. The last time these teams met on the court resulted in a 63-60 Wildcats victory in double overtime.
It was an extremely disappointing Senior Night for Northwestern on Thursday, which scored a season-low 32 points in the one-sided Penn State victory. The Wildcats connected on just 23.3 percent of their shot attempts on the night, including 3-of-22 from 3-point range. Northwestern also hit a dismal 9-of-21 from the free-throw line. Alex Olah was the only Northwestern player to score in double figures, netting 14 points with five rebounds. Drew Crawford pulled down a team-high seven rebounds, and the Wildcats recorded six assists to their 12 turnovers.
Crawford leads the Wildcats on the season with a 15.1 ppg average, although he's hitting just 40.1 percent of his shot attempts from the floor. The senior also tops the team in rebounding with a 6.6 rpg mark, and in assists with 63 total on the year. JerShon Cobb checks in at second in scoring with 12.2 ppg, and Tre Demps is third with 10.9 ppg to round out the double-digit Northwestern scorers.
Wisconsin grabbed an 11-point lead over Purdue at the end of the first half in Wednesday night's Big Ten clash, but the Boilermakers weren't about to give up. Although Purdue couldn't fully complete the comeback, the team still shaved five points off the ninth-ranked Badgers' lead. Ronnie Johnson led Purdue with 15 points and six assists in the contest, while Terone Johnson chipped in 12 points and A.J. Hammons tallied a double-double with 11 points and 11 rebounds.
Terone Johnson leads a group of three Boilermakers averaging double-digit point totals this season with 12.1 ppg. Ronnie Johnson is behind Terone at 11.1 ppg, adding a team-high 112 assists on the year. Hammons chips in 10.6 ppg for Purdue with a team-leading 7.5 rpg average and 89 blocked shots. Purdue is scoring an average of 72.9 ppg through 30 games played, and gives up an average of 71.9 ppg to opponents.
The loser of this game gets the bottom spot in the conference headed into the Big Ten Tournament. Both teams have seriously struggled this season, especially in conference play. Now that the Boilermakers are home, they should be able to exact revenge on Northwestern for the earlier double-overtime loss.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Purdue 67, Northwestern 60
03/09 10:18:50 ET