Seven lead changes and nine ties later, the No. 23 Purdue Boilermakers came out on top in a tense game.
Not much separated Purdue (17-8, 12-6 Big Ten) and No. 25 Wisconsin (16-10, 10-9 Big Ten) in terms of scoring throughout the game: The largest lead by either team in the second half was just 5 points. The game ended in a 4-point Purdue victory, 73-69.
Junior forward Trevion Williams put the dagger in the Badgers late in the half with a ferocious dunk to give the Boilermakers a lead they would never relinquish.
Though the Badgers attempted to freeze the clock with a series last-second fouls, sophomore guard Isaiah Thompson was able to sink two clutch free throws to seal the game in its final seconds.
Freshman center Zach Edey dominated Wisconsin down low throughout the whole second half. He finished the game with a career-high 21 points, five of which were from the free-throw line. Freshman guard Jaden Ivey praised him for his game tonight.
"The guy was a beast," Ivey said. "He came with that mentality today and that's what we needed. He stepped up in his role."
Ivey managed to continue his astounding multiple-game scoring run, finishing with 18 points and two assists, which was highlighted by an acrobatic finish at the rim two minutes into the second half.
Junior forward Aaron Wheeler found his rhythm from 3-point range during this game, shooting a perfect 3 for 3, including a clutch shot with five minutes left in the game. This is a welcome sight for the Boilermakers, as he has been noticeably struggling with his shot throughout the whole season.
"Shooting confidently is the big part," Wheeler said. "Throughout the season, knowing I'm still going to get those opportunities for the open shots and being able to take it is the biggest thing."
The Purdue team, coach Matt Painter and the families in attendance were upset over foul calls during the second half. A chorus of boos could be heard over the piped-in fan noise after a shooting foul call on Trevion Williams midway through the second half.
It was a departure from the eerie quiet of an almost empty Mackey Arena.
Williams picked up his fourth personal foul with 10 minutes left in the game, which led to Purdue's reliance on Edey. Despite his foul trouble, Williams still finished with 9 points and seven rebounds.
Purdue returns to action at 2 p.m., Saturday when it hosts Indiana (12-13, 7-10). The game will be broadcast on an ESPN Network channel yet to be announced.
- Purdue's bench scored 38 of its 73 points.
- Purdue outrebounded Wisconsin, 37-27.
- Zach Edey led Purdue in scoring despite only playing 18 minutes.
- Junior guard Sasha Stefanovic had eight assists in the game.
- Purdue led for 23:25 of the game.
- Purdue improved to 17-8 overall and 12-6 in the Big Ten Conference with a 73-69 win over No. 25-ranked Wisconsin at Mackey Arena on Tuesday night.
- The win was Purdue's fourth in a row, tying its longest win streak of the season.
- Purdue now leads the all-time series with Wisconsin by a 111-72 margin, including a 42-4 mark at Mackey Arena. The Boilermakers have won five straight home games against the Badgers.
- Purdue has won seven of the last nine games against Wisconsin.
- Purdue has now held 14 straight opponents to 72 or fewer points.
- Through Tuesday's games, Purdue (18th offense, 18th defense) is one of five teams to rank in the top 20 in both offensive and defensive efficiency, according to KenPom (Gonzaga, Michigan, Illinois, Houston, Purdue).
- Purdue is now 55-9 at home against Big Ten teams since the start of the 2014-15 season.
- Purdue has won at least 12 Big Ten games in six of the last seven seasons, the only program that has reached 12 wins in at least six seasons.
- Purdue improved to 10-1 at home this season and is tied with Michigan for the fewest home losses in the Big Ten play this season (Purdue – 7-1; Michigan 7-1).
- Purdue is now 24-23 against nationally-ranked teams since the start of the 2016-17 season. The 24 wins are tied for the seventh-most nationally in that span.
- Purdue's five wins over ranked teams this year (5-4 record) are tied for the fifth most in America (Iowa, Kansas – 7; Michigan, Oklahoma State – 6). Purdue's 10 wins over ranked teams since the start of last year are also the sixth-most nationally (Iowa – 14; Kansas, Michigan State, Ohio State, Baylor – 11).
- Purdue has won at least five games against ranked teams in three straight years for the first time in school history.
- Purdue has won 15 straight games when shooting a higher field goal percentage than its opponent.
- Purdue's freshman class scored 42 of its 73 points in the win over Wisconsin. It marks the seventh time this season it has accounted for at least 50.0 percent of Purdue's scoring (5-2 record). It has happened three times in the last eight games. In Big Ten play, the class has accounted for 44.0 percent of Purdue's points.
- Zach Edey scored a career-best 21 points (8-11 FGs, 5-7 FTs) with seven rebounds and a blocked shot in only 17:31 of action. He becomes the fourth player nationally to have at least 20 and 7 in under 18 minutes of action.
- Freshman Jaden Ivey scored 18 points with three rebounds, two assists and a blocked shot. Ivey is averaging 14.5 points, 5.0 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 2.3 blocked shots over the last four games.
- Aaron Wheeler scored a season-high 11 points with six rebounds, two assists and a blocked shot, making 3-of-3 from long range and 2-of-2 from the free throw line. In the last three games, Wheeler is averaging 7.7 points and 6.3 rebounds in just 17.0 minutes per game. He is 5-of-6 from long range in the last three games.– Purdue Athletics contributed to this report
- Halftime Notes:
They always say that basketball is a game of runs.
Wisconsin cut the deficit to two points with a buzzer-beating shot at the end of the half. The Badgers (16-9, 10-8 Big Ten) trail the Boilermakers (16-8, 11-6 Big Ten) 30-28 at the half.
Purdue's offense had a slew of miscues through the first seven minutes of the half, only hitting two shots from the field and turning the ball over four times, creating a 13-5 deficit for the Boilers.
Purdue followed up with a 10-2 run, fueled by many Wisconsin mistakes and brilliant playmaking by junior guard Sasha Stefanovic to draw even with the Badgers with eight minutes left in the half.
Freshman guard Jaden Ivey was all over the court once again, scoring 8 points to keep the Boilermakers within shouting distance of the Badgers during the slow start. He made a key chase-down block to keep the score within 10 points early in the half.
Purdue took the lead with about seven minutes left in the half and maintained it throughout the rest of the period. There was a noticeable effort to push the ball inside to keep the lead intact, as freshman center Zach Edey scored all of his 7 points during this stretch.
The bench has given Purdue a spark, as they have scored 14 of their 30 points so far in the game.
A minor collapse in the last two minutes allowed Wisconsin to narrow the lead again, but Purdue held the edge going into the locker room.
Before the game, Purdue paid tribute to longtime announcer Larry Clisby, who died this weekend. Flowers were left at his seat in the broadcast seating, and a tribute video played over the Jumbotron before tipoff.
Forever part of our family. 💛🖤 We love you, Cliz. pic.twitter.com/jsbqk6Nr8p— Purdue Mens Basketball (@BoilerBall) March 3, 2021