Purdue looks to stay unbeaten at home this season when it faces Northwestern on Sunday. The Boilermakers began the defense of their Big Ten regular-season title with an 80-75 win against Maryland on Friday and hope to extend their conference home winning streak to eight games by downing the Wildcats for the fifth straight time after sweeping the season series the last two years.
“We got older guys and we got guys with experience who have been through it before,” Purdue coach Matt Painter told reporters. “Our guys have been resilient and we have to keep fighting and find ways to win.” Northwestern opened conference play with a 72-68 overtime win over Illinois despite shooting 39 percent from the field. The Wildcats finished 18-of-21 from the free throw line to offset their shooting woes en route to their fourth consecutive Big Ten opening victory and they hope to stay on the winning track by downing the Boilermakers for the first time since a 74-65 victory on March 9, 2014. “I was really proud that our guys found a way to win,” Northwestern coach Chris Collins told reporters. “It’s a quick turnaround and we got to get our legs and head to West Lafayette which is never an easy place to play.”
TV: 4 p.m. ET, Big Ten Network
ABOUT NORTHWESTERN (5-3, 1-0 Big Ten): Scottie Lindsey led the Wildcats with 22 points in the win against Illinois after he was held scoreless on 0-for-8 shooting in his previous game against Georgia Tech. Vic Law added 16 points and seven rebounds while Bryant McIntosh contributed 14 points and six assists against the Fighting Illini to finish in double figures for the sixth time this season. Dererk Pardon registered six points and four blocks, including a vital swat with three seconds left in overtime to preserve the victory.
ABOUT PURDUE (7-2, 1-0): Isaac Haas shot 10-of-13 from the floor en route to a team-high 21 points to go along with five rebounds and a career-high four blocks in the win against Maryland. Dakota Mathias drilled four 3-pointers en route to 20 points and dished out nine assists against the Terrapins to move past Cuonzo Martin for seventh place on the Boilermakers’ all-time 3-point shooting list with 181. Senior forward Vince Edwards recorded 10 points and 11 rebounds for the eighth double-double of his career.
1. Purdue has won six of the last seven home meetings with Northwestern.
2. Northwestern has forced an average of 19 turnovers over its last three games.
3. The Boilermakers have won 10 straight games in the month of December.
PREDICTION: Purdue 76, Northwestern 71