WEST LAFAYETTE — Braden Smith had a second half to forget, but a night to remember.
Purdue basketball’s sophomore point guard totaled 16 assists, the second most in a single game in program history, and the No. 2 Boilermakers (20-2) survived against Northwestern 105-96 in overtime at Mackey Arena.
Northwestern was hot from beyond the arc, drilling 8 of 13 in the first half. At one point, the hot start propelled the Wildcats to a 25-21 lead.
Purdue responded with a 17-2 run, making six straight field goals in the process.
The Boilermakers led 47-39 at halftime, but would see that lead evaporate in a hurry, partially due to free throw struggles, where Purdue was 29 of 46.
Northwestern and Purdue counter punched most of the second half.
Boo Buie had a chance to win in regulation for Northwestern, driving left and missing a runner off the front of the rim.
Purdue avenged an overtime loss at Northwestern earlier this season.
It was over when
Smith’s final assist found Fletcher Loyer beyond the 3-point line. Loyer cashed in with 38.3 seconds left in overtime, his only points since scoring 12 in the first half. That gave the Boilermakers a 96-90 lead.
Northwestern continued to punch back, but missed a late shot that sent Wildcats coach Chris Collins storming onto the court in a heated exchange with officials.
Mason Gillis sank three technical foul shots to ice Purdue’s sixth straight win.
Zach Edey watch
Northwestern’s help defense has proven to cause Zach Edey fits.
But in early December, Purdue’s 7-foot-4 center scored 35 points in an overtime loss at Welsh-Ryan Arena.
This time, Edey struggled in the first half to get his offense going and was woeful from the free throw line. But, Edey went 2-for-2 with 3:11 to go in overtime, finishing 8 of 17 from the line.
Edey had back-to-back possessions where he got free for a dunk in overtime that spurred Purdue ahead. Edey finished with 30 points and 15 rebounds and played an impressive 41:30.
Lance Jones, Purdue: Jones had maybe his worst game as a Boilermaker at Northwestern. Jones scored 12 points in the first half this go around, helping Purdue to a halftime cushion. He’d hit two big 3s on consecutive possessions late in the second half, one tying the game at 66 and the next putting Purdue ahead 69-68. Jones finished with 26 points.
Braden Smith, Purdue: Smith had a mostly forgettable second half. The first half, the sophomore point guard had eight points and nine assists. The Boilermakers needed every bit of it. In overtime, Smith controlled the game. Four of his 16 assists came in overtime and he had a driving layup to put Purdue ahead by six with 1:44 remaining, finishing with 11 points and just two turnovers.
Ty Berry, Northwestern: Berry was the catalyst for Northwestern’s hot streak. The senior guard made 4 of 5 3s in the first half and finishing 6 of 9 and scoring 25 points.
Boo Buie, Northwestern: Buie has been a Purdue killer the past two seasons. The super senior did it again at Mackey Arena. Buie put up 25 points, hitting 7 of 11 3s.
Sam King covers sports for the Journal & Courier. Email him at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter and Instagram @samueltking.
First appeared on www.jconline.com