This game got away from Wisconsin. Purdue outplayed them for two halves, pure and simple, and came away with their 10th Big Ten win, splitting the season series in the process.
After two early fouls on Jon Leuer, Purdue was able to get on a run, grabbing several offensive rebounds in the first half with Leuer on the bench. And with Leuer on the bench, the Badger offense stagnated and couldn't get anything going; Purdue responded by taking a 9 point lead into the half.
And it was in the 2nd half that Purdue nearly squandered a 13 point lead; after falling behind 51-38, the Badgers furiously fired back at the Boilermakers, cutting Purdue's margin to 58-56 before everything went wrong. E'Twaun Moore personally torpedoed the Badgers by hitting a jumper and a huge 3 pointer to extend Purdue's advantage to 63-56. With the half running out, Wisconsin, unable to hit anything from outside, chose to drove inside. This worked, as the Badgers managed to get 6 points from a pair of layups and a jump shot by Jordan Taylor, cutting into Purdue's lead and slicing it to 67-62 with 29 seconds to go. After Lewis Jackson hit only one of his two foul shots, Wisconsin missed their final two shots of the game, both a pair of threes. JaJuan Johnson hit two free throws, and Purdue maintained their spotless home court record.
Wisconsin once again went cold from beyond the arc on the road; the Badgers missed all six of their three point attempts in the final 10:50 of the game. The Badgers took 19 threes and hit only three of them. This, combined with the Badgers' inability to close out the first half, would ultimately decide the game. Purdue players attempted 16 3 point shots and made only 5. Both teams shot very poorly from beyond the arc, but they combined for a grand total of 4 missed free throws on 32 attempts (Wisconsin players made 11 of their 13 free throw attempts, while Purdue players made 17 of their 19 attempts).
Purdue outplayed Wisconsin, pure and simple. They deserved to win this game. Both teams still have some work to do if they're to come within a game of Ohio State in the conference standings at the end of the year.
Next 3 Games:
Purdue: (21-5, 10-3 Big Ten) vs. #1 Ohio State, February 20th; @ Indiana, February 23rd; @ Michigan State, February 27th
Wisconsin: (19-6, 9-4 Big Ten) vs. Penn State, February 20th; @ Michigan, February 23rd; vs. Northwestern (Senior Day), February 27th