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Men's College Basketball
Preview
Purdue at Northwestern
When: 6:00 PM ET, Saturday, January 31, 2015
Where: Welsh-Ryan Arena, Evanston, Illinois

Following impressive back-to-back wins, Purdue is making a name for itself in the Big Ten. The surging Boilermakers look to continue to climb the conference standings when they begin a road-heavy portion of their schedule at Big Ten doormat Northwestern on Saturday. Rapheal Davis scored 19 points and Purdue put forth an impressive defensive performance in an 83-67 win over in-state rival and 21st-ranked Indiana on Wednesday.

"We limited their open looks, got into them early, and got physical early," Davis told reporters after the Boilermakers limited the Big Ten's top offense to 37.9 percent from the field. The Wildcats are in the midst of an incredibly frustrating six-game slide that includes five consecutive losses by an average of 3.4 points. They took then-No. 8 Maryland to the wire on the road before suffering a 68-67 setback on a basket in the closing seconds on Sunday.

TV: 6 p.m. ET, ESPNU

ABOUT PURDUE (13-8, 5-3 Big Ten): Davis has lifted his play of late by averaging 19 points on 54.3 percent shooting over his last three games, but the big development this week was the emergence of guard Bryson Scott. After being relegated to bench duty with a grand total of four minutes played over a six-game stretch, the sophomore came off the bench against Indiana to provide 11 points and a season-high six rebounds in 22 minutes. "I haven't been in the best position with the coaches, but I've been waiting for my opportunity," Scott told the Lafayette Journal & Courier. "They gave it to me tonight, fortunately, and I took advantage of it because I know I'm capable of doing things like that."

ABOUT NORTHWESTERN (10-10, 1-6): Head coach Chris Collins is encouraged by his team's competitiveness against elite opponents but knows that a stretch such as this one can lead to frustration, and he is pleased that his players have remained focused. "My guys could not be giving me any more," Collins said after the Maryland loss. "They come every day, prepare great, play their hearts out, and I'm just sick for them that they haven't gotten the results I feel they deserve." Bryant McIntosh continued his stellar freshman campaign with 21 points on 10-of-14 shooting against the Terrapins.

TIP-INS


1. Boilermakers C A.J. Hammons had a career-high eight blocked shots against Indiana and is 9-of-10 from the floor over his last two games.

2. Wildcats C Alex Olah had 14 points and seven rebounds to help his team pick up a 74-65 win in the previous meeting last March, completing a season sweep.

3. Northwestern is second in the Big Ten with a 79.8 percent showing from the line in league play while Purdue is 11th at 65 percent.

PREDICTION:
Northwestern 67, Purdue 66
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk Home Away Neutral Day Night Conf
Purdue 13-8 W2 10-3 1-3 2-2 7-4 6-4 5-3
Northwestern 10-10 L6 7-5 2-4 1-1 6-2 4-8 1-6
Last Meeting
Purdue Northwestern
Date Away Home Pts Reb FG% Pts Reb FG%
3/9/14 NW 74 PUR 65 65 40 35.6 74 30 41.2
Player Stats
Previous Matchup
Points Player Total FG% FTM
Purdue R. Davis 13 44.4 4
Northwestern D. Crawford 27 46.2 13
Rebounds Player Total Off Def
Purdue R. Davis 9 4 5
Northwestern D. Crawford 7 2 5
Assists Player  
Purdue K. Stephens 5
Northwestern T. Demps 5
Season
Points Player Total FG% FTM
Purdue A. Hammons 225 50.0 51
Northwestern B. McIntosh 248 43.9 36
Rebounds Player Total Off Def
Purdue A. Hammons 125 47 78
Northwestern A. Olah 140 42 98
Assists Player  
Purdue J. Octeus 57
Northwestern B. McIntosh 90
Quickchart Matchup
Purdue Off vs  Northwestern Defense
73.0 Points For
62.7 Points Against
46.3 FG%
41.5 FG%
33.1 Reb
28.6 Reb
Northwestern Off vs  Purdue Defense
64.8 Points For
65.3 Points Against
43.7 FG%
40.0 FG%
28.6 Reb
27.8 Reb