Badgers Fall on Senior Night
MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Zach Edey had 17 points and 19 rebounds as No. 5 Purdue outlasted Wisconsin 63-61 on Thursday night, damaging the Badgers’ NCAA Tournament hopes.
Purdue (25-5, 14-5) already had clinched the Big Ten regular-season title outright before the end of this game by virtue of Illinois’ 91-87 double-overtime victory over Michigan. The Illinois-Michigan game concluded late in the first half of the Purdue-Wisconsin matchup.
But there was still plenty at stake in this game as Purdue sought to make its case for a No. 1 seed and Wisconsin (16-13, 8-11) attempted to boost its postseason credentials. Neither team led by more than three points for the final 12 minutes.
In the eighth and final lead change of the second half, Edey made both ends of a one-and-one to put Purdue ahead 58-57 with 1:45 left. Edey had been 1 of 6 from the line before sinking those two.
Wisconsin’s Chucky Hepburn missed a baseline jumper with 1:15 remaining, but Purdue’s Ethan Morton misfired on a 3-pointer with 47 seconds remaining.
The Badgers called a timeout and got the ball to Max Klesmit, who missed a driving layup attempt as the Kohl Center crowd pleaded for a foul call.
Purdue then stayed ahead and won for just the second time in five games by converting its free throw opportunities. Purdue went 9 of 10 on foul shots in the final 1:45 after going 2 of 8 up to that point.
Wisconsin had the ball while trailing by three on a couple of occasions in the final 10 seconds, but both times Purdue fouled before the Badgers could attempt a tying 3-pointer.
Morton made just one of two free throws with four seconds left, giving Wisconsin one last shot with the score 63-61. Klesmit had just gotten past midcourt when he attempted a potential winning 3-point attempt that fell well short of the basket as the buzzer sounded.
Klesmit scored 19 points and Hepburn added 13 for Wisconsin. Fletcher Loyer had 13 for Purdue.
Purdue: The Boilermakers still aren’t playing nearly as well as they were when they had the No. 1 ranking, but they deserve credit for winning on the road against a desperate team. Purdue coach Matt Painter shook up his lineup as Brandon Newman made his first start of the season and Mason Gillis made his second Big Ten start of the year.
Wisconsin: The Badgers have reached 21 of the last 22 NCAA Tournaments but will need a deep Big Ten Tournament run to get back there this year. The Badgers won a share of the Big Ten title last year because of an uncanny knack for winning close games, but they haven’t been as fortunate this time. This tough loss came four nights after a buzzer-beating 3-pointer at the end of regulation led to an overtime loss at Michigan.
Purdue has been ranked in the top five for 14 straight weeks, which doubles what had been the school’s longest streak for weeks in the top five.
Purdue: Hosts Illinois on Sunday
Wisconsin: At Minnesota on Sunday