No. 20 Purdue tops No. 13 Wisconsin
The Sports Xchange
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -- Having lost an overtime home game to Minnesota on New Year's Day, No. 20 Purdue certainly couldn't afford a second Big Ten loss in Mackey Arena in a week if the Boilermakers hope to challenge for the conference regular-season championship.
Big men Caleb Swanigan and Isaac Haas, along with some clutch shooting from guard Ryan Cline, made sure that didn't happen on Sunday in an emphatic 66-55 victory against No. 13Wisconsin, halting the Badgers' nine-game winning streak.
Swanigan had 18 points and 13 rebounds -- his eighth consecutive double-double -- and the 7-foot-2 Haas added 13 points and five rebounds while Cline scored seven of his nine points during a decisive 12-0 second-half run.
Purdue (14-3, 3-1 in the Big Ten) began the 12-0 burst just after Wisconsin freshman guard D'Mitrik Trice missed a wide-open layup that would have cut the Purdue lead to 40-38.
"We were fortunate he missed that layup, then it all unfolded our way," Cline said. "Those three open shots I hit came within the flow of the offense."
The Boilermakers limited Wisconsin (13-3, 2-1) to 39 percent shooting (23 of 59), including 2 of 14 from 3-point range, and outrebounded the Badgers 34-22.
Purdue now has beaten Wisconsin 39 times in 43 meetings in Mackey Arena and denied theBadgers' attempt to win at Indiana and at Purdue in the same season for the first time since 1972.
"I do think we understood how big this win is," said Haas, noting that Sunday's meeting withWisconsin was the only time the Top 25 opponents will play during the regular season.
Ethan Happ had 17 points and Nigel Hayes added 10 for the Badgers, who were not able to win despite forcing 18 turnovers, including eight from Swanigan.
"I felt like we played well against Happ," Swanigan said. "You can't let him create for everyone. When they missed that layup, we gave ourselves a chance, and Ryan hit three big shots in that stretch."
According to Wisconsin coach Greg Gard, that stretch cost the Badgers any chance of mounting a comeback.
"That layup we did not convert ... it snowballed," Gard said. "We had to make shots to beat a team like Purdue. Maybe it's a different game if we convert that layup. A seven-possession sequence, which began with the missed layup, decided the game."
With Nebraska's loss to Northwestern on Sunday, every Big Ten team has at least one conference loss.
Wisconsin made its first five second-half shots, including three from Happ, to pull within 38-34 with 15:34 remaining. A 3-pointer from P.J. Thompson and a Cline jumper extended the Purdue lead to 45-36 with 12:57 to play, prompting a Wisconsin timeout.
Cline's 3-pointer with 12:25 remaining gave the Boilermakers a 48-36 advantage.
"The missed layup was huge," Purdue coach Matt Painter said. "They couldn't get the momentum there. When you are playing on the road, you need everything like that play to go your way, and it didn't. It was a huge play.
"We really wanted to stick with their guys on the perimeter, and we wanted to give defensive help without exposing ourselves to open shots. Then, we offset our turnovers with defense and rebounding."
The Boilermakers led by as many as 10 during the opening half before taking a 29-23 lead into the locker room through 20 minutes.
Purdue got nine points from Swanigan and six each from Dakota Mathias and Haas in the first half when it shot 52.6 percent (10 of 19) and outrebounded Wisconsin 16-11. The Boilermakers were guilty of 11 first-half turnovers, which led to seven Badger points.
Wisconsin got seven points from Hayes and six from Happ but shot only 34.5 percent (10 of 29) during the opening half, including 0 of 6 from 3-point range.
NOTES: Purdue swept the 2015-2016 series from Wisconsin, winning 61-55 in Madison and 91-80 in West Lafayette ... Before Sunday's game, Wisconsin held 10 of its 15 opponents to season-low point totals ... The Badgers came to Purdue with a nine-game winning streak, tied for eighth longest in the nation ... During the eight games leading into Purdue, Badger G Bronson Koenig was 27 of 51 from 3-point range (52.9 percent) ... Including last season's 91-80 victory, Purdue was 38-4 against the Badgers in Mackey Arena, which opened for the 1967-68 season ... Boilermaker F Caleb Swanigan had at least 10 rebounds in 14 of the first 16 games and had nine and eight in the other two ... Purdue's Big Ten schedule in front loaded with five home games from Dec. 28 through Jan. 21. The Boilermakers have seven of their final 11 league games on the road.