WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (AP) — Drew Crawford had 27 points and seven rebounds and Alex Olah added 14 points and seven rebounds to lead Northwestern to a 74-65 victory over Purdue on Sunday in the regular season finale for both teams.
The Wildcats (13-18, 6-12 Big Ten), who snapped a league-worst seven-game skid, closed out the first half on a 6-2 run to take a 28-21 lead at halftime. Northwestern went on a 9-2 run midway through the second half capped off with a 3-pointer by Sanjay Lumpkin with 11:17 remaining for a 45-32 lead.
Rapheal Davis had 13 points and nine rebounds and A.J. Hammons added 13 points for the Boilermakers (15-16, 5-13), who have lost six straight.
The two teams, who sit at the bottom of the league standings, fought for better seeding in the league tournament in Indianapolis starting Thursday.
But it’s been a touch stretch for Northwestern and Purdue and the long losing streaks haven’t helped. Four of Purdue’s six losses came to top 20 teams. The Wildcats dropped two games to ranked opponents in the final stretch of the regular season.
The Wildcats finally pulled away midway through the second half.
Crawford scored to give Northwestern a 36-27 lead before Hammons was fouled on a basket and converted the 3-point play to make it 36-30 with 14:07 remaining.
Olah scored, Nikola Cerina grabbed a steal from Davis and Crawford made a free throw before Lumpkin’s 3 to put the Wildcats ahead by 12.
The Boilermakers honored four seniors on senior day. Terone Johnson, Travis Carroll, Errick Peck, and Sterling Carter were recognized after the game.
Terone Johnson and Carroll have each spent the last four seasons with the Boilermakers. Carter transferred from Seattle University and Peck moved in from Cornell after last season.
Purdue went on a run late in the game.
Kale Abrahamson, who finished with seven points and five rebounds, scored to give the Wildcats a 56-41 lead before Kendall Stephens hit a 3-pointer to spark a 10-2 run.
Terone Johnson scored a free throw and a lay-up and Hammons hit a jumper and two free throws to make it 58-51 with 4:29 remaining. Tre Demps and Abrahamson each scored a free throw before Davis made a 3 to make it 60-54 with 2:44 left.
The Boilermakers shot just 19 percent in the first half and the Wildcats took a 22-16 lead when Olah hit a 3-pointer.
Carroll missed a 3, but grabbed the rebound and Peck hit a 3-pointer to make it 22-19 before the Wildcats closed out the first half on a 6-2 run.
Olah scored before Stephens made two free throws for Purdue to make it 24-21.
Crawford made a pair of free throws before Dave Sobolewski blocked a 3-point attempt by Stephens and Demps scored on a fast-break lay-up to give the Wildcats a 28-21 halftime lead.