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February 24, 2013WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind.--Northwestern was unable to shake off another slow start as it fell behind early and couldn't recover in a 74-43 loss to Purdue at Mackey Arena Sunday evening.
Tre Demps led the Wildcats with 9 points while Reggie Hearn added 8 points and 6 rebounds, while Terone Johnson 22 points to lead the Boilermakers.
The start of the contest was a complete turnaround from the first meeting between the teams on Feb. 2 when NU opened the game on a 12-0 run. This time it was Purdue that got off to the hot start as it led 14-3 out of the gates.
Johnson had the hot hand early on, scoring nine points over the opening eight minutes of play. As a team, the Boilermakers made eight of their first 12 field goal attempts while the Wildcats connected on only three of their first 19 as the hosts' lead eventually ballooned to 29-7 by the midway point of the opening half.
Northwestern would finally get its offense going as Hearn capped an 8-1 run with two free throws trimmed seven points off the deficit and got the visitors within 37-22 with 2:40 remaining in the opening stanza.
Johnson answered the surge with a 3-pointer, but Mike Turner hit from deep with six seconds left in the half to get NU within 40-25 at the break.
Northwestern opened the second half by getting a pair of open looks from beyond the arch that would have made it a 12-point game, but they couldn't connect and Johnson connected from deep on the other end.
The basket ignited an 18-6 run to open the period as the Boilermakers pushed their lead back out and the Wildcats were unable to recover.
Northwestern returns to action on at 6 p.m. Thursday as it hosts Ohio State at Welsh-Ryan Arena. Tickets are available at NUsports.com or by calling 88-GO-PURPLE.