EVANSTON, Ill. (AP) — Zach Edey had 14 points and eight rebounds, and No. 5 Purdue moved into first place in the Big Ten with a rugged 70-64 victory over Northwestern on Wednesday night.
Capping a stretch of eight games in 21 days, the Boilermakers (23-4, 12-4) shot 45% from the field and committed 14 turnovers — a sluggish performance by one of the country's most efficient teams. But they held the Wildcats to 35% shooting and controlled the glass with a 39-34 rebounding advantage.
Mason Gillis and Eric Hunter Jr. each scored 11 points as Purdue moved a half-game ahead of No. 12 Illinois for the top spot in the conference. The Boilermakers swept their season series against the Illini.
Robbie Beran had 13 points for Northwestern (12-12, 5-10), and Pete Nance finished with 12. The Wildcats have dropped their last 11 games against the Boilermakers, also losing 80-60 in their first meeting of the season on Jan. 23.
Northwestern held two of Purdue's best players in check, limiting Jaden Ivey to eight points on 2-for-12 shooting and Trevion Williams to four points. Ivey was averaging a team-high 17.4 points coming into the game, and Williams was averaging 12.3 points.
But Edey scored 12 points to help Purdue to a 32-28 halftime lead, and Gillis and Sasha Stefanovic made some big plays down the stretch.
The Boilermakers took control by opening the second half with a 7-0 run. Ivey converted a three-point play off an assist by Edey, making it 39-28 with 17:59 left.
Northwestern pulled within seven on a 3-pointer by Julian Roper II, but Purdue responded with a 10-2 run. Gillis and Stefanovic each hit a 3 before Williams' jumper made it 62-47 with 6:39 remaining.
Purdue: Shrugging off their slow offensive start, the Boilermakers matched the school's best 27-game start since it was 25-2 during the 1987-88 season. The Boilermakers also were 23-4 in 1994, 1996, 1998, 2010 and 2018.
Northwestern: Ryan Young left with a hand injury with 9:48 left, part of another tough night for the Wildcats. Boo Buie, who was averaging a team-high 15.1 points coming in, was shut out in the first half. He finished with 11 points on 3-for-10 shooting.
Purdue: Hosts Rutgers on Sunday.
Northwestern: At Minnesota on Saturday afternoon.
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