The No. 3 Purdue Boilermakers scored 12 straight points against the Wisconsin Badgers to open Tuesday’s game and never looked back in a 78–50 win at Mackey Arena in West Lafeyette, Ind.
Simply put, Purdue (18–6, 7–0 Big Ten) dominated a short-handed and depth-deprived Wisconsin (9–10, 2–4) squad at home, starting off by hitting its first four shots—all three-pointers—to set the tone before true freshman Nate Reuvers hit two free throws to break the doughnut in the scoring column for the Badgers.
No one said it would be easy against the top-five Boilermaker squad, which came in riding a 13-game winning streak and was among the conference’s best in several major offensive and defensive categories. Wisconsin shot itself in the foot many times in the first half, however, to keep it remotely close with a Purdue squad that stretched the lead to 23-4 at the 10:29 mark in the first half.
The Boilermaker lead even went up to 21 points at 32-11 with 4:32 remaining before intermission.
UW committed 15 turnovers in the first 20 minutes, 12 combined among true freshman guard Brad Davison (seven) and redshirt junior forward Ethan Happ (five). Combine that with 7-of-18 shooting (38.9 percent), 3-of-7 from three-point range, and the Badgers trailed 39–22 at halftime.
For the game, Wisconsin committed 20 turnovers and shot only 35.4 percent from the field (17 for 48) and only hit six of 19 three-pointers (31.6 percent).
Happ ended the game with a team-high 15 points, six rebounds, and a game-high seven assists, but also converted seven turnovers.
In his first-ever game action in Mackey Arena, Davison struggled, only scoring five points (2-of-5 from the field) with only two assists and those seven turnovers.
Guard Carsen Edwards scored a game-high 21 points on 9-of-16 shooting (3-of-5 from three-point range) for the Boilermakers, with five steals and three assists.
In the first half, the guard scored 14 points as Purdue shot 16-of-33 from the field and 6-of-11 from behind the arc.
Vincent Edwards also contributed 20 points on 8-of-13 shooting, and like Carsen, converted on 3-of-5 three-point attempts. He recorded five rebounds and four assists.
Purdue has scored on all of its possessions this half -- 13 points in 5 possessions.— Jim Polzin (@JimPolzinWSJ) January 17, 2018
Purdue started the second half hot in its first handful of possessions and did not allow Wisconsin to get back into the game. In a few spurts, the Badgers brought the lead down to 16, but the Boilermakers countered with runs to comfortably distance themselves at home.
Guard P.J. Thompson also scored 14 points for Purdue in the win.
Looking on the brighter side, Reuvers scored eight points—all in the first half—while connecting on two of three from three-point range. Junior forward Khalil Iverson collected seven points and seven rebounds, while fellow junior Alex Illikainen contributed five points with three rebounds in limited play.