Northwestern goes on the road to face its third straight ranked team for a Big Ten matchup against No. 21/25 Ohio State. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. ET with Big Ten Network providing live television coverage. Tuesday's contest is the lone regular season meeting between the two schools.
Ohio State (13-5, 3-3) enters the game fresh off consecutive wins over ranked opponents, winning at No. 6 Purdue Tuesday before posting a 60-51 home win over No. 13 Wisconsin Saturday. Four-time Big Ten Player of the Week Evan Turner has returned from missing a month due to injury to lead Ohio State. The junior paces the Buckeyes with averages of 18.5 points, 9.4 rebounds and 5.3 assists per game.
The Wildcats (13-4, 2-3) are coming off a 72-64 home win over No. 6 Purdue Saturday, marking the highest ranked opponent NU has beaten since downing No. 4 Michigan State 83-65 Jan. 17, 1979. Michael Thompson paced NU with 20 points, while Luka Mirkovic contributed a double-double with 16 points and 10 rebounds. The 'Cats dominated the Boilermakers on the boards, posting a 42-23 advantage.
Ohio State leads the overall series with NU, 106-45, including a 63-14 advantage when playing in Columbus. With an unblemished 11-0 home record at stake, Ohio State try to fend of the Cat's, who will be on the prowl for their first win in Columbus since the 1977 campaign.
The No. 13/15-ranked Boilermakers will try to end their three-game losing skid was it travels to Champaign, Ill., for a road test against Illinois on Tuesday night. The Illini will begin its defense of a perfect 10-0 home when the teams collide at 9 p.m. ET before a national audience on ESPN.
The Illini are off to a 4-1 start in Big Ten play - its best conference start under head skipper Bruce Weber. Illinois will look to return to its winning ways after dropping its first loss of the conference season in a 73-63 decision at Michigan State on Saturday. Demetri McCamey leads the Orange and Blue in scoring with 14.8 points per game. The junior guard ranks first in the Big Ten in assists (6.8 apg.) and second in assist-turnover ratio (3.8), handing out 34 assists with just nine turnovers in five conference games.
Purdue's Robbie Hummel continues to prove himself as one of the most versatile players in that nation. In the Boilermakers' last five games, Hummel has elevated his averages in points (20.8 ppg), rebounds (7.2 rpg.), while connecting on 51 percent of his attempts from the floor and 92 percent from the free throw line.
Tuesday night's outcome could be decided at the free throw line as both teams enter the contest shooting 73 percent from the charity stripe on the year.
Dave O'Brien will handle handles play-by-play for tonight's contest with Steve Lavin alongside as color analyst and Erin Andrews on the sideline.
Series History: Purdue leads, 89-84