After Peru (8-8 overall) took a timeout at :07.4, Northwestern forced a 5-second violation on the in-bound play. Trenton Brazel then split a pair of free throws at :06.4 for a 57-55 lead.
Primerano nearly forced another OT. He beat a pack of defenders with the dribble, then attacked the basket in the closing seconds — but Northwestern post Chase Johnson blocked his path and attempted to take a charge. Primerano crashed into Johnson and put up a shot. There was no call and the shot rolled off the rim as time expired.
The OT session capped a back-and-forth game. Peru jumped to a 6-0 lead, but it was tied 8-8 at the end of a sloppy first quarter that saw the teams combine for 14 turnovers. The second quarter featured good action as the teams battled through six lead changes and five ties. Peru owned a 26-24 lead when the dust settled.
Peru seemed in control with a 34-27 advantage at 2:31 of the third quarter, but Northwestern followed with a quick 5-0 run to keep contact.
“We had a seven-point lead and had the ball and turned it over three straight possessions,” Metcalfe lamented. “A lot of it wasn’t necessarily what they did, we just got sped up and started making silly mistakes with the basketball and got careless. ... We shot ourselves in the foot and the whole complexion of the game changed.”
Peru took a 38-34 lead into the fourth quarter. Northwestern saw its first three possessions of the quarter end in turnovers, but Peru failed to take advantage. The Purple Tigers then rattled off a 14-4 run to take a 48-42 lead at 2:02.
Ortmann and Brazel highlighted the run with back-to-back 3-pointers, but Jacob Wagner keyed the run. He ignited it with a baseline jumper and also had three assists and a steal.
“Jacob Wagner has been very consistent for us,” Gish said. “He is never going to be real flashy, but as a sophomore point guard, he’s doing a really nice job of taking care of the basketball. Now that he’s starting to understand the varsity speed, he’s really doing a nice job of getting the basketball where it needs to be and with the timing.”