EVANSTON,Ill.– Reggie Hearn scored a career-high 26 points to lead Northwestern to a 75-60 victory over Purdue on Saturday.
Jared Swopshire and Dave Sobolewski each added 13 points for the Wildcats (13-10, 4-6 Big Ten), who scored the game’s first 12 points and snapped a four-game losing streak to the Boilermakers.
Purdue freshman center A.J. Hammons didn’t start because he was late for the team bus fromWest Lafayette, according to a team spokesman. Hammons did lead the Boilermakers (11-11, 4-5) with 19 points and 13 rebounds.
On Wednesday, Hammons had 30 points, his highest total of the season, in a loss to No. 3 Indiana.
Travis Carroll started in Hammons’ place, and Hammons entered with 16:44 to play in the first half. The Boilermakers scored their first points with 15:59 left on a Hammons tip-in to cut the lead to 12-2.
The Wildcats shot 11 of 26 from three-point range and 53 percent from the field.
Tre Demps added 12 points for Northwestern. D.J. Byrd had 12 points and Anthony Johnson had 11 for Purdue, which shot 33 percent from the field.
Northwestern reached its biggest lead, 21 points, with 12:45 remaining on Demps’ three-pointer. Purdue answered with a 9-0 run before Swopshire made a three-pointer to put Northwestern ahead 59-44 with10:32left. Purdue was unable to cut the lead to single digits in the second half.
The Wildcats have won three of their last four games. Purdue has dropped three of its last four.
Both teams were coming off big losses on Wednesday. The Boilermakers suffered their worst home loss and allowed a season high in points in losing 97-60 to Indiana, while Northwestern fell to top-ranked Michigan 68-46.
Hearn, a Snider product, scored 21 of his points in the first half. His previous career high for a game was 23 on Nov. 15 against Mississippi Valley State.
Northwestern led 43-29 at halftime after shooting 68 percent from the field and 8 of 12 from three-point range. Hearn’s 21 points came on 9-of-10 shooting, 3 of 4 from beyond the arc. Hammons had 11 points and six rebounds for Purdue, which shot 44 percent from the field in the first half.
Purdue won the rebounding battle 46-30.
The Wildcats began the game shooting 4 of 5 from beyond the arc for a 21-7 lead. Purdue reached the double-digit mark with 9:42 left before halftime on Fort Wayne native Rapheal Davis’ layup to cut the lead to 23-10. The Boilermakers whittled the lead to seven twice before halftime but got no closer.
The Boilermakers had beaten Northwestern four straight and had won four of their last five in Evanston.
The Wildcats were holding opponents to 61.8 points per game and a 41.7 shooting percentage.
Purdue leads the all-time series 122-44.