EVANSTON, Ill. - Northwestern 75, Purdue 60: Reggie Hearn made his first nine shots and scored a career-high 26 points as the host Wildcats led wire-to-wire against the Boilermakers.
Hearn finished 11-of-17 from the field and scored 19 points in the first half as Northwestern (13-10, 4-6 Big Ten) scored the game's first 12 points. Jared Swopshire and Dave Sobolewski added 13 points apiece and Tre Demps chipped in 12 as the Wildcats shot a season-high 53.1 percent and did not record a turnover in the last 25 minutes.
Freshman A.J. Hammons led Purdue (11-11, 4-5) with 19 points and 13 rebounds for his second career double-double. D.J. Byrd hit four 3-pointers and added 12 points the Boilermakers, who shot 33.3 percent and have lost their last two games by a combined 52 points.
After Northwestern's game-opening run, the Boilermakers responded with a 13-3 run that cut the lead to 30-23 with 5:12 left. Hearn hit a 3-pointer on the next possession and scored 10 points in the Wildcats 13-4 half-ending spurt as Northwestern pushed its cushion to 43-29 at halftime.
The Wildcats built the lead to 21 seven minutes into the second half on a 3-pointer by Demps, but Purdue scored the next nine points and cut the deficit to 56-44. Swopshire ended the run by hitting a 3-pointer with 10:32 left. Minutes later, Hearn converted a three-point play to set a career high in scoring and seal the win.
GAME NOTEBOOK: Hearn's previous career high was 23 points against Mississippi Valley State on Nov. 15. Hearn also posted his fifth career game with at least 20 points and set a career best in field goals made. ... Hammons was held out of the starting lineup because he was late for the team bus. It was the first time he came off the bench since scoring 20 points against Oregon State on Nov. 16 at Madison Square Garden. ... Demps tied a career best by making three 3-pointers. He had been 2-for-16 from behind the arc in his previous five games.