Wisconsin opened hot at Mackey Arena Saturday, scoring 17 points in the first five minutes against Purdue. But much like Wednesday's loss to Minnesota, Frank Kaminsky picked up his second foul with 14:24 left in the half and the Badgers were disjointed for much of the time he was on the bench.
The officiating was tight through the half. Both teams were in the bonus by the under-eight-minute time-out. Purdue's A.J. Hammons picked up his second foul early in the first half with just under 1:30 expired in the game and came back in later, only to pick up his third. A combined 21 fouls were called on both teams.
At one point, Wisconsin held a 17-6 advantage, but Purdue was able to get to rim and worked back to tie the game at 27-27 with 2:30 to go in the half. Wisconsin took advantage at the free throw line to regain the lead before the half, but even without the post presence of Hammons, Purdue held a 20-8 advantage on points in the paint.
Whether it was the historically tough rims at Mackey Arena or the absence of Kaminksy, the Badgers struggled to score and just shot 9-of-26 from the field. Poor shooting from the floor was slightly compensated for with a 10-of-13 performance from the free throw line, topping Purdue's 6-of-7 mark. If the officiating is similar to the first half, this game will likely come down to which team fares better at the foul line.
Points per possession: UW 1.03, Purdue 0.91. UW is 9 of 26 overall, 4 of 12 from 3, 10 of 13 from FT line. Pur is 11 of 30, 1 of 7, 6 of 7.— Jim Polzin (@JimPolzinWSJ) January 25, 2014