Purdue (13-5) at Northwestern (9-10)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Tuesday, January 21, 9 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Welsh-Ryan Arena (8,117) -- Evanston, Illinois.
Television: BTN. Home Record: Purdue 10-1, Northwestern 7-4. Away Record:
Purdue 2-1, Northwestern 2-4. Neutral Record: Purdue 1-3, Northwestern 0-2.
Conference Record: Purdue 3-2, Northwestern 2-4. Series Record: Purdue leads,
GAME NOTES: Aiming to get back to .500 on the season, the Northwestern
Wildcats clash with the Purdue Boilermakers in Big Ten Conference action at
Since Christmas, the Wildcats have found wins hard to come by, posting just
two victories in a span of seven games. Luckily, those two triumphs have come
over the past three outings, the latest being a 54-47 final versus Indiana in
a spirited meeting this past Saturday. Still, Northwestern is only 2-4 in
conference play and that has the program buried near the bottom of the
standings entering the week.
As for the Boilermakers, they have won three in a row, but the most recent
victory was a slim 65-64 decision over Penn State on Saturday. The Nittany
Lions are 0-6 in conference and 9-10 on the campaign overall, so Purdue fans
shouldn't get too excited about moving to 3-2 in league action just yet.
Purdue owns an overwhelming 123-44 advantage in the all-time series, picking
up a 74-43 victory in the most recent encounter last February.
At home in Mackey Arena, the Boilermakers should have had a better showing
against Penn State over the weekend, but at least the team was able to land in
the win column one more time. Terone Johnson scored 14 points, Kendall
Stephens and Basil Smotherman tallied 12 apiece, the latter also clearing 10
rebounds, while A.J. Hammons tacked on 10 points and seven boards, although he
missed all four of his field goal chances in the outing.
Generating 76.0 ppg, the Boilermakers are a solid offensive bunch, but they
have just two players scoring in double figures. Terone Johnson leads the way
with 13.4 ppg and Ronnie Johnson comes in with 10.8 ppg, the latter also
keeping the offensive in motion with 67 assists. In Big Ten play, Johnson and
Johnson are joined in double figures by Hammons who is actually the top
producer in those five outings with 14.0 ppg, accounting for 7.0 rpg and 14
blocked shots as well.
With points being at a premium, Northwestern led by three at the break on
Saturday, 22-19, and it was quite impressive to see the Wildcats close out
their meeting against Indiana, on the road no less, in such commanding style.
Drew Crawford played the star for the visitors as he registered a double-
double consisting of 17 points and 12 rebounds, followed by Tre Demps off the
bench with 15 points.
Starting all 18 games in which he has appeared and playing close to 35 minutes
per contest, it makes sense that Crawford is the leading scorer for
Northwestern with his 15.1 ppg. Crawford is also tops on the glass with 7.2
rpg, but with only two other players with at least 5.0 rpg to their credit,
the squad is still coming up short versus the opposition on the glass by an
average of 2.3 rpg. With that deficit also comes a scoring margin that has the
Wildcats posting 1.7 ppg less than foes at this point in the campaign.
Considering how close the Boilermakers cut it against Penn State and the fact
that the team is on the road for this meeting, there's more than a good chance
that a reinvigorated Northwestern squad can again turn the screws on defense
and pull out the win tonight.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Northwestern 61, Purdue 58
01/21 11:06:06 ET
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