After a decent starts for both teams it seemed as though the sellout crowed at Mackey Arena would be in for a close game as the Purdue men's basketball team took on the Illinois Fighting Illini Wednesday. Pressure from the Illinois defense caused Purdue to struggle with handling the ball and created 14 turnovers, most of which came in the first half.
The Illini bench outscored thier opponents’ bench 26-2 over the couse of the game. Illinois also grabbed 13 offensive rebounds even though they were severely undersized for most of the game. A balanced attack saw all but one player record at least one bucket on the night.
After the game was tied up at 48-all, Purdue went on a 15-3 run down the stretch to secure their 14th win at home on the season. Carsen Edwards had an efficient night, shooting 8-14 from the field and scoring a game high 23 points but also had six turnovers. Matt Haarms had a double double with 21 points and 10 rebounds without missing from the field or the free throw line. The Boilermakers scored a total of 40 points in the paint which led Purdue to prevail.
The Boilermakers sit in a tie atop the Big Ten with Michigan State and have three games left until the conference tournament begins. Purdue will have their last home game of the season, as well as senior night this Saturday against Ohio State.