Purdue tops Northwestern 58-44 in Big Ten opener

For Matt Haarms, defense will be the key to Purdue’s success. If the Boilermakers have to win ugly, Haarms said so be it.

Posted: Dec 8, 2019 10:14 PM
Updated: Dec 9, 2019 8:23 PM

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (AP) — For Matt Haarms, defense will be the key to Purdue’s success. If the Boilermakers have to win ugly, Haarms said so be it.

Sasha Stefanovic scored 14 points and Haarms added 12 points to lead Purdue to a 58-44 victory over Northwestern in the Big Ten opener for both teams on Sunday.

“The outside shot didn’t go in at all throughout the entire game,” Haarms said. “I think we responded really well after the initial shock of ’none of our shots are falling.’ We knew this was going to be a game where we grind it out on defense. We had stops 10 of the last 11 possessions in the first half and it translated into the second half.”

The Boilermakers (6-3) closed the second half with a nice spurt as well. Purdue led 49-42 with 4:01 to go before reeling off nine straight points to take command. Stefanovic scored 10 points in the second half including a 3-pointer that capped the 9-0 run and ignited the crowd.

“He had some looks that didn’t go down in the first half,” Purdue coach Matt Painter said of Stefanovic. “At the end of the day, he has a good (stat) line, going 5 of 10 from field and 2 of 5 from 3s and not turning the ball over (in 34 minutes).”

For the second consecutive game, the Boilermakers started the 7-foot-3 Haarms and 6-9 Trevion Williams together. Haarms hit 5 of 9 shots and Williams hit 3 of 4 for eight points.

“We work together well offensively,” Haarms said. “We know how each other plays. If there is a question defensively, I think I have to do a better job guarding the (power forward).”

Jahaad Proctor added 10 points for Purdue, which won its seventh in a row over Northwestern. Haarms, Williams and Eric Hunter Jr. each had seven rebounds as Purdue held a 38-31 edge.

Pete Nance led Northwestern (4-4) with 14 points. He was the only Wildcat in double figures.

“We played nine guys in this game and five are playing in their first conference game,” Wildcats coach Chris Collins said.

Collins described Purdue as one of the toughest places in the conference.

“For us to come out and not be rattled, I feel like we’re getting better,” he said. “We have to continue to learn how to win. When we got it to 49-42 after (Miller) Kopp hit a 3, I thought we could maybe steal a game if we got a couple of stops. Give them credit it was 9-2 after that. That’s what winning teams do. They executed and got stops when they needed.”

Purdue, which shot 39% overall, held a 22-16 lead after a sluggish first half as both teams suffered long scoring droughts.

“I felt like we had some good looks, but we also had some empty possessions,” Painter said. “Give them credit, they had a good start to the game. We’re learning as we go along offensively.”

After A.J. Turner hit a 3-pointer to give the Wildcats a 14-13 with 7:44 left before the break, the Wildcats managed just one field goal the rest of the half.

Northwestern shot just 27% in the first half and 34% overall.

KEY STAT

Averaging 12 turnovers a game, Purdue was able to cut that in half with just six. That certainly helped on a slow shooting night. Northwestern committed 12.

BIG PICTURE

Northwestern will look to get its offense in gear and avoid another stumble against SIU-Edwardsville. The Wildcats already have suffered disappointing home losses to Merrimack and Radford.

Fresh from Wednesday’s 69-40 rout of No. 5 Virginia, Purdue began defense of its Big Ten title with a lackluster shooting performance.

UP NEXT

Northwestern faces SIU-Edwardsville in a nonconference home game on Sunday.

Purdue is at Big Ten opponent Nebraska on Sunday. The Boilermakers follow that with a nonconference game at Ohio on Dec. 17 and No. 24 Butler at the Crossroads Classic in Indianapolis on Dec. 21.

West Lafayette
35° wxIcon
Hi: 48° Lo: 32°
Feels Like: 35°
Kokomo
Clear
34° wxIcon
Hi: 47° Lo: 31°
Feels Like: 27°
Rensselaer
Clear
34° wxIcon
Hi: 47° Lo: 31°
Feels Like: 26°
Fowler
Clear
34° wxIcon
Hi: 46° Lo: 31°
Feels Like: 26°
Williamsport
Clear
34° wxIcon
Hi: 48° Lo: 30°
Feels Like: 34°
Crawfordsville
Clear
32° wxIcon
Hi: 48° Lo: 31°
Feels Like: 32°
Frankfort
Clear
37° wxIcon
Hi: 48° Lo: 31°
Feels Like: 32°
Delphi
Clear
34° wxIcon
Hi: 47° Lo: 30°
Feels Like: 27°
Monticello
Clear
34° wxIcon
Hi: 49° Lo: 30°
Feels Like: 27°
Logansport
Clear
32° wxIcon
Hi: 46° Lo: 29°
Feels Like: 25°
Clouds Build Sunday Ahead Of Snow
WLFI Radar
WLFI Temps
WLFI Planner

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 324537

Reported Deaths: 5594
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion44186858
Lake28094462
Allen18660301
Elkhart17663230
St. Joseph17256234
Hamilton13612170
Vanderburgh10028121
Tippecanoe896729
Porter855386
Johnson6718169
Hendricks6412158
Vigo625889
Monroe550450
Clark531078
Madison5239122
Delaware5075103
LaPorte481196
Kosciusko475941
Howard364177
Bartholomew335365
Warrick335372
Floyd329478
Wayne325678
Marshall311846
Cass303931
Grant287150
Hancock272957
Noble264946
Henry256437
Boone255054
Dubois245631
Dearborn228231
Jackson226334
Morgan221243
Gibson194926
Knox193021
Shelby192656
Clinton185421
DeKalb183932
Lawrence183849
Wabash172821
Adams172422
Miami170815
Daviess163145
Fayette153734
Steuben153414
Jasper151713
Montgomery149327
Harrison147624
LaGrange146131
Ripley145815
Whitley142314
Huntington133510
Decatur132543
Putnam131128
White131022
Wells130130
Clay130023
Randolph128121
Posey125816
Jefferson124116
Scott114520
Greene106053
Sullivan102716
Jay101913
Starke95022
Jennings90414
Spencer8908
Fulton87519
Perry85121
Fountain8228
Washington8127
Franklin73427
Carroll71913
Orange70028
Vermillion6607
Owen6468
Tipton60327
Parke6026
Newton57812
Rush5708
Blackford56612
Pike52719
Pulaski41815
Martin3705
Benton3643
Brown3574
Crawford3081
Union2782
Switzerland2655
Warren2562
Ohio2387
Unassigned0266

COVID-19 Important links and resources

As the spread of COVID-19, or as it's more commonly known as the coronavirus continues, this page will serve as your one-stop for the resources you need to stay informed and to keep you and your family safe. CLICK HERE

Closings related to the prevention of the COVID-19 can be found on our Closings page.

Community Events