After a statement win against fifth-ranked Virginia earlier this week, the Purdue Men's basketball team opened the Big Ten regular season campaign at home against Northwestern Sunday, in a game that again pointed out this season's up-and-down offense. The 58-44 victory was relatively easy, but showed vulnerability as the conference season gets underway.
Both teams seemed to be allergic to scoring early in the ballgame, logging empty possession after empty possession. Northwestern shot just 27 percent in the first half, hitting only six shots.
The Boilermakers were just barely better. They hit less than 40 percent of their shots from the field, as Northwestern pressured Purdue's three-point shooting all night, leading to an abysmal 1-for-14 line from long range in the first half. What the team lacked in scoring they made up for in ball security as they only turned the ball over six times.
Northwestern had just one player score in double figures -- Pete Nance with 14 points. They turned the ball over 12 times on the night, which Purdue turned into 13 points on the other end.
Sasha Stefanovic continued to thrive as a starter and led Purdue with 14 points. Jahaad Proctor had ten, and Matt Haarms 12, as well as pulling down a team-high seven rebounds.
Purdue will not return to the hardwood again until they travel to meet Nebraska next Sunday. This will be the first of a three-game stint away from Mackey Arena.