EVANSTON, Ill. (AP) — Boo Buie just kept going as Northwestern battled No. 1 Purdue deep into Friday night. He made big play after big play throughout a tight second half and overtime.
At the very end of another tiring duel with Zach Edey, the fifth-year guard was the last man standing — again.
Buie scored seven of his 31 points in OT to help the Wildcats beat Edey and the top-ranked Boilermakers for the second straight season, winning 92-88 in the Big Ten opener for each school.
“I think we just did a really good job of just moving the ball offensively,” Buie said. “Guys were stepping up, making shots, and so that was opening the floor for me.”
Buie had nine assists, two steals and no turnovers while playing a game-high 43 minutes, rallying Northwestern from an eight-point halftime deficit. Ty Berry also scored seven points in OT and finished with 21, and Ryan Langborg added 20.
“Boo was just sensational,” Northwestern coach Chris Collins said. “Forget about the 31 points, but nine assists and no turnovers. ... To me, as good a performance as he's had, and any Northwestern player's had.”
The Wildcats (6-1, 1-0) became the seventh program since 2010-11 to beat a team ranked No. 1 in the AP poll in consecutive seasons. They also topped the Boilermakers 64-58 on Feb. 12 at home for their first win against a No. 1 team.
Edey had 35 points, 14 rebounds and three blocked shots, but Purdue (7-1, 0-1) had trouble with Northwestern's guards all night. The Boilermakers enjoyed a 52-27 rebounding edge and went 31 for 41 at the foul line, but they committed 17 turnovers compared to three for the Wildcats.
Moments after the final seconds ticked off, Edey & Co. trudged off the floor as fans stormed the court at Welsh-Ryan Arena.
“What it comes down to is our inability to guard and then they got some open looks and knocked them down and we didn't,” Purdue coach Matt Painter said.
Northwestern went ahead to stay on Berry's two foul shots with 2:09 left in overtime. Blake Preston forced a key turnover by stepping in front of Edey, and Buie and Berry each made two free throws in the final seconds to help close it out.
Fletcher Loyer scored 17 points for Purdue, and Braden Smith had 12 points, nine assists and seven rebounds.
“Eighty-eight points is enough to win the game,” Painter said. “You've got to be able to guard.”
Buie got Northwestern back in the game after an uneven start. He converted two three-point plays and made a turnaround jumper during an 8-1 run that lifted the Wildcats to a 48-47 lead with 14:54 to go.
That set up a tight, back-and-forth finish to regulation with neither team leading by more than three. Northwestern grabbed a 69-66 advantage on Luke Hunger's tiebreaking 3 with 4:43 remaining, but Edey made two foul shots to tie it again at 70 with 3:52 to go.
Buie gave the Wildcats a 76-74 lead with a floater in the lane with 3.9 seconds left, but the 7-foot-4 Edey sent the game to OT when he grabbed Camden Heide's well-placed lob and scored inside in the final seconds.
“That game ranks right up there with, in terms of just the highest-level game that I've ever been a part of,” Collins said. “You just had two really good teams kind of throwing haymakers, and both teams kept responding.”
Purdue: It was eerily similar to Purdue's previous loss at Northwestern, when the Boilermakers led 55-47 with 3:52 left and stumbled down the stretch. They shot 5 for 19 from 3-point range Friday night, hurting their ability to create more room for Edey inside.
Northwestern: This one should provide a big confidence boost for the Wildcats, and a victory that will look quite good as they push for another NCAA Tournament berth later this season.
Purdue: Hosts Iowa on Monday night.
Northwestern: Hosts Detroit Mercy on Dec. 10.
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