Purdue continued to keep its foot on the gas against Big Ten opponents, and showed a struggling Wisconsin team why they are the class of the conference. Let’s take a look at how the game unfolded.
Game of the Night
Purdue Boilermakers 78, Wisconsin Badgers 50
A game that was a blatant mismatch on the schedule proved to be just that on Keady Court at Mackey Arena, as Purdue jumped out to a lead that put the game out of reach early. For a Wisconsin team that struggles to score as it is, digging an early 27-8 hole all but wrote the result on the board with a permanent marker.
The only hope that the Wisconsin Badgers truly had going into a game they were outmatched, in part due to injuries and inexperience, they needed their All Big-Ten talent Ethan Happ to play a spectacular game to be competitive.
Unfortunately for the Badgers, they did not happen. While Happ did finish with 15 points, seven rebounds and six assists, he also had seven turnovers. Five of those turnovers came in the first half, leading to a 39-22 deficit that made the second half twenty minutes of stat padding.
The closest that Wisconsin ever got in the second half was 15 points at 39-24 a minute into the half, and Purdue quickly padded their lead back out to twenty, where it hovered for the remainder of the game.
Carsen Edwards and Vincent Edwards led the Boilermakers with 21 and 20 points apiece, respectively. The two combined to outscore Wisconsin 24-22 in the first half. A few storylines that stand out from this game were the lack of scoring contributions from Isaac Haas and Dakota Mathias for Purdue, who combined to score four points on 1-10 shooting. To see two Boilermaker starters struggle the way they did offensively and still win by nearly 30, even against a hurting Badgers team, shows how impressive they are on that end of the floor.
Ryan Cline broke out of a recent shooting slump tonight for Purdue, making all three of his attempts from beyond the arc. Matt Haarms also had a nice night, finishing with 10 points and adding five blocks to his season total.
To credit Wisconsin, they are playing with a lot of injuries, missing a few guys, and trying to compete with limited offensive options. They competed hard for much of the game, even when the result was no longer in question.
Their offense has to run through either Happ or freshman Brad Davison, who is trying to play with one arm right now with his shoulder injury. The two of them combined tonight for 20 points on 9-21 shooting, along with 14 turnovers. Brevin Pritzl, likely Wisconsins third option offensively, finished with seven points on 2-11 shooting.
Purdue travels to Iowa City, a place this senior class is yet to win, on Saturday to take on the struggling Iowa Hawkeyes. Wisconsin will return home to face Illinois on Friday night.