Stefanovic drops 22, No. 4 Purdue pulls away from Northwestern

Justin Casterline / Getty Images Sport / Getty

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (AP) — Sasha Stefanovic scored 22 points to help No. 4 Purdue beat Northwestern 80-60 on Sunday.

Boilermakers coach Matt Painter tied Ward “Piggy" Lambert for second on the school's career victories list with his 371st win at his alma mater. Painter and Lambert also are fifth in Big Ten history.

Purdue (16-3, 5-3) has won 10 straight in the series, turning away Northwestern once again despite playing without leading scorer Jaden Ivey because of an injured hip flexor. Trevion Williams and Zach Edey had 12 points apiece.

The Wildcats were led by Boo Buie with 17 points. Pete Nance and Robbie Beran each scored nine for Northwestern (9-8, 2-6), which has lost six of seven and has never won a road game against a top-five opponent.

Stefanovic made 4 of 5 shots, all from 3-point range, and all four of his free-throw attempts in the first half. His third 3 spurred a 9-0 run that helped the Boilermakers to a 29-15 lead, and he scored seven more points in the closing minutes of the first half to give Purdue a 40-28 advantage.

Northwestern cut the deficit to five when it opened the second half with seven straight points, but Purdue eventually went on a 16-5 run to open a 64-47 lead with 8:03 to play.

With Chase Audige dealing with an apparent right ankle injury and Nance in foul trouble, the Wildcats couldn't get closer than eight the rest of the game.


Northwestern: For the first time in school history, the Wildcats faced three consecutive top-10 teams. The problem Sunday: They lacked the size or strength to match up inside with Purdue's big men. And when they tried to defend the post, the Boilermakers beat them from long range.

Purdue: On a rare day when the Boilermakers sophomores were mostly held in check, two seniors — Stefanovic and Williams — helped them rebound from their third loss of the season. Stefanovic started the day shooting 40% from beyond the arc. He finished 6 of 10 from long range.


Thursday's loss at rival Indiana probably will send the Boilermakers out of the top five. But Sunday's victory could mitigate how far they slide. Purdue's three losses this season came on a half-court buzzer-beater at Rutgers, a five-point home loss to Wisconsin and a three-point road loss against the Hoosiers. That should be enough to keep the Boilermakers in the top 10.


Northwestern: Visits Michigan on Wednesday.

Purdue: Heads to Iowa on Thursday.


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Stefanovic drops 22, No. 4 Purdue pulls away from Northwestern
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