NU ousted from Big Ten Tourney

On to the NIT. Northwestern lost to Purdue 69-61 Friday, ending the Wildcats' Big Ten Tournament and chances to sneak into the Big Dance. John Shurna scored 16, and the Cats pulled within one with less than a minute to play, but they couldn't pull back-to-back wins over Purdue. Details from NU Sports inside.

INDIANAPOLIS -- When Northwestern senior Jeremy Nash canned a 3-pointer in transition to pull NU within one point with 46 seconds remaining, the 'Cats seemed poised to oust second-seeded Purdue from the Big Ten Tournament. But those proved to be NU's last points of the game as the Boilermakers held on for a 69-61 victory Friday evening at Conseco Fieldhouse.

Northwestern (20-13) jumped out to a great start from the field, particularly 3-point range. After making just two of their first 24 attempts from distance in Thursday's win over Indiana, the Wildcats connected on each of first five tries from beyond the arc and raced out to a 17-6 lead just over nine minutes into the contest.

Purdue (27-4) came charging back behind the red-hot shooting of E'Twaun Moore. The first-team All-Big Ten selection drilled four 3-pointers in the first half as a 20-10 run by the Boilermakers helped them get within 27-26 with just over four minutes remaining in the half.

NU was able to get Purdue in foul trouble in the opening stanza as Purdue committed 13 infractions, resulting in the Wildcats going to the free throw line 16 times and converting on 13 of the tries.

Northwestern would take a 34-30 lead into the intermission, holding the Boilermakers to 29.6 percent (8-27) shooting in the first period.

Consecutive three-point plays by Purdue to open the second half gave the Boilermakers their first lead of the contest. Purdue would surge ahead by seven points, 45-38, with 11 minutes to go, but a 3-pointer by Drew Crawford and a jumper by John Shurna made it a two-point contest.

However, the Boilermakers answered with five free throws the next trip down the floor. After JaJuan Johnson made his first try from the charity stripe, Northwestern was called for a flagrant elbow. Johnson made the second throw before Kelsey Barlow hit one of two. Purdue was awarded the ball out of bounds and Johnson connected twice more to make it a seven-point game again.

The Boilermakers' lead was still seven following a lay-in by Johnson with 2:08 remaining, but NU made one final push. Davide Curletti made two from the line with 1:23 to go and after Keaton Grant made one on the other end, Shurna hit a pair to make it a four-point contest.

Crawford came up with a steal on the other end and when Nash drilled a trey with 46 seconds left, suddenly the Wildcats found themselves down only 62-61. However, Chris Kramer converted a three-point play to push Purdue's lead back to four and Moore sealed the game for the Boilermakers by making four free throws down the stretch.

Shurna led Northwestern with 16 points, while Crawford contributed his first careerdouble-double with 15 points and 10 rebounds. Moore paced Purdue with 28 points.

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