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Wisconsin basketball: Purdue recap

Wisconsin gets dominated once again at Mackey Arena, fall 70-51 to Purdue.

COLLEGE BASKETBALL: JAN 24 Wisconsin at Purdue Photo by Michael Allio/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

On the heels of a nice home victory over Nebraska on Tuesday, the Wisconsin Badgers (12-8 overall, 5-4 B1G) were back in action on the road against the Purdue Boilermakers (11-9 overall, 4-5 B1G).

Wisconsin entered the hostile confines of Mackey Arena as four-point underdogs, and the result wasn’t pretty. The Badgers would be dominated by the Boilermakers, losing 70 to 51.

During the first few minutes of the game, Wisconsin struggled with turnovers and blocking out the length of Purdue, allowing the Boilermakers to jump out to an early 15-7 lead. As the first half wore on, Purdue would continue to take advantage of the Badgers on the offensive glass, as Wisconsin was out of their rhythm, down by 11 with 6:46 to play.

In the the latter stages of the first half, Wisconsin was unable to change their fortunes, as Purdue only expanded their lead to 33 to 15 at the intermission.

In the second half, Purdue would continue right where they left off to jump out to a 28 points lead, but Wisconsin would respond. The Badgers would go on a 12-1 run of their own over a four minute span to get the lead down to 17 with just over 11 minutes to play.

While the Badgers were able to chip away at the deficit, Purdue would eventually pull away and finish with a comfortable 29 point victory.

Notable stat lines:

  • Micah Potter —> 11 points (5-of-7 from the floor), two rebounds, one steal
  • D’Mitrik Trice —> 11 points (4-of-6 from the floor), two assists, one rebound
  • Matt Haarms (Purdue) —> 11 points (4-of-7 from the floor), three rebounds
  • Isaiah Thompson (Purdue) —> 14 points (6-of-8 from the floor), two assists, two steals

Three things that stood out:

No. 1: Sloppy joes

Wisconsin was out of sorts all night long. Wisconsin allowed 11 offensive rebounds, and turned the ball over seven times in the first half alone. That is not good, I repeat, not good.

The Badgers weren’t able to take advantage of early foul trouble for both Trevion Williams and Matt Haarms. Instead the turnover problems only continued, as Wisconsin struggled to score.

On the night, Wisconsin was out-rebounded 43 to 18, and compiled 11 turnovers. On the road, those numbers are not going to get it done, no matter the quality of the opponent. Purdue did not shoot a crazy percentage from the field, but they were afforded 14 more shots on the night, thanks to 17 offensive rebounds, and they were able to capitalize.

No. 2: Spacing problems

Wisconsin strayed from their swing offense identity against Purdue. Too often, the Badgers dribbled the air out of the ball, and relied on ball screens and dribble hand offs. The tremendous ball movement that was on display against Nebraska was nonexistent. The insufficient spacing and lack of passing, resulted in a shrinking of the lanes readily available to the offense, and players all clumped together.

The offense struggled mightily Friday night against Purdue, shooting 50% from the foul line, and 31% from deep, a game after making a school record 18 three-pointers on nearly 53% from behind the arc alone. While the defensive effort was not up to snuff, it was the offense that ultimately doomed the Badgers, as they only made seven three-pointers and had only 12 assists.


Mackey Arena has been an absolute hell of a venue for the Badgers. Wisconsin has now only won four games out of 45 contests, and Greg Gard has fallen to 1-6 against the Boilermakers overall.

Road games have been extremely difficult for Big Ten foes, but Wisconsin came out flat against Purdue, and were never able to quiet the crowd. With another big road game upcoming against Iowa, the Badgers will only have a few days to flip the script from this nightmare.

Up next: Wisconsin will play once again on Monday against the Iowa Hawkeyes. Another true road game, tip-off is set for 7:30 p.m. CST on BTN.