Northwestern 66, Purdue 53
EVANSTON, Ill. (AP)—Vedran Vukusic scored 28 points to lead Northwestern to a 66-53 victory over Purdue in the teams’ Big Ten opener Wednesday.
Vukusic hit his first five shots and scored 20 points in the first half, hitting 7 of 8 field goals and 4 of 5 free throws. Vukusic shot 9 of 13 from the floor and 8 of 9 from the line overall.
The Wildcats (8-4, 1-0 in the Big Ten) were missing second-leading scorer Mohamed Hachad, who is out after an appendectomy, but Tim Doyle contributed a career-high 20 points and had five assists and four rebounds to compliment Vukusic.
In a game featuring two short-handed teams expected to finish at the bottom of the Big Ten, Purdue (6-6, 0-1) took an early hit when freshman forward Nate Minnoy went down with a right knee injury early in the first half. The Boilermakers were already without expected starters Carl Landry, Tarrance Crump and David Teague, who are all out for the season.
Purdue had 11 turnovers in the first half, which led to 18 points for the Wildcats, who led 37-26 at the break.
Matt Kiefer scored a season-high 21 points to lead the Boilermakers, who have now lost two straight games and four straight to Northwestern.
Chris Lutz added 12 points for Purdue, which got as close as seven points in the second half before Northwestern pulled away.