Badgers back on winning track
The Badgers made five of their first six three-point attempts and went on to beat Purdue, 67-62, Thursday night to snap a three-game losing streak.
Ben Brust scored 13 points to lead five players in double figures for Wisconsin (13-5,
2-3), which started the game with a 22-4 lead. The Badgers made 19 of 40 shots from the field and 9 of 20 from three-point range.
It was a big turnaround from their losing streak, during which they never shot better than 35 percent from the field.
“When the ball is going down, it wasn’t like there was any magic, anything said differently,” Wisconsin coach Bo Ryan said.
The Badgers ended a five-game losing streak at Mackey Arena and stopped Purdue’s 26-game home winning streak. They hadn’t lost as many as three in a row overall since a six-game stretch in January 2009.
Jordan Taylor and Mike Bruesewitz scored 12 points apiece for Wisconsin, and Ryan Evans and Josh Gasser each scored 10.
Terone Johnson came off the bench to lead Purdue
(13-5, 3-2) with a career-high 16 points. Robbie Hummel scored 13, but made just 5 of 17 shots. The Boilermakers made just 21 of 61 field goals overall and lost despite committing just three turnovers.
“You’ll rarely see a team play at home and only have three turnovers and lose,” Purdue coach Matt Painter said. “I don’t know if I’ve ever seen something like that.”
After trailing by 18 points midway through the first half, Purdue made it interesting.
Purdue hit eight of its first 15 second-half shots, but the early Wisconsin run provided too much of a gap to overcome.
“It’s too bad because I thought we played hard the rest of the game and made a good effort to try to come back,” Hummel said. “It’s just hard to come back when you’re down that much.”
Anthony Johnson’s runner with 10:36 to go cut Wisconsin’s lead to 45-43, but Bruesewitz answered with a three from the corner and did so again in extending the Badgers’ lead to 51-45 with less than 7 minutes remaining.
“You need plays like that,” Ryan said. “People have been making them against us.”
The second three-pointer came after Terone Johnson missed a short jumper that would have cut the lead to one. It also started an 8-2 Wisconsin run that pushed the lead back to 56-47.
The Boilermakers closed the gap to one possession temporarily. Hummel’s trey in the final seconds cut the score to 65-62 but Taylor iced the game with a pair of free throws with 1.4 seconds left.
Purdue, which entered Saturday shooting just 61.4 percent from the free-throw line, had another poor effort by going 12 of 22.
“That needs to improve,” Hummel said. “If you lose by five points and you miss 10 free throws, you do the math.”