Following a pair of closer than they should have been non-conference wins over Nicholls and Illinois State at home, the No. 23 Wisconsin Badgers men’s basketball team (11-2 overall, 2-1 Big Ten) was back on the road Monday evening for a conference clash with No. 3 Purdue.
Not only did the contest represent a pivotal game at the top of the Big Ten, but it was also the first game that the Badgers had their entire roster healthy and available since Marquette a month earlier.
While having everyone back provided a shot in the arm for the team, it was Johnny Davis who was the difference as the Badgers took down Purdue for a massive 74-69 road win.
Johnny Davis and the #Badgers take down Purdue in Mackey Arena for the first time since 2014— Bucky’s 5th Quarter (@B5Q) January 4, 2022
74-69 UW despite Crowl, Vogt, and Wahl fouling out
J-D's final stat line: 37 points and 14 rebounds
Early in the game, Purdue was able to snag a quick 8-6 lead at the first media timeout thanks to a pair of Mason Gillis three-pointers. Wisconsin on the other hand scored all six of their points in the paint, but only converted on 3-of-10 to start the game.
The Badgers would go on to not score a field goal in over three minutes, but great defense and back-to-back buckets by Johnny Davis would give them a lead with 12 minutes left in the first half.
Wisconsin would manage to maintain their advantage into the next media timeout, as Steven Crowl and the Badgers were active on the offensive glass. With 7:47 left in the first half, UW led by two. Davis had half of the team’s points at that point, while as a team Wisconsin had attempted seven more shots due to four offensive rebounds and some solid defense.
Steven Crowl and Chris Vogt would get into some foul trouble which allowed Zach Edey to go to work inside for Purdue, but three straight makes for the Badgers would push the Wisconsin lead to four with 3:42 to play.
Over the final few minutes of the half, Wisconsin would build on their lead despite having three big men with at least two fouls. A big defensive play by Chucky Hepburn would lead to a Johnny Davis dunk to give the Badgers a 29-24 lead at halftime.
Halftime: UW up 29-24 @ Mackey Arena— Bucky’s 5th Quarter (@B5Q) January 4, 2022
Johnny Davis - 10 pts, 6 reb
Tyler Wahl - 6 pts, 3 reb
Purdue would grab the lead within the first minute of the second half, but Johnny Davis and Brad Davison would respond to give the Badgers the lead right back on with 16:30 left in the game.
The Boilermakers would proceed to go on an 8-0 run after the break in the action, including Crowl picking up his fourth foul of the game. Vogt and Wahl would also be called for their fourth fouls as well, as Purdue would extend their lead to as much as seven.
Davis and the Badgers would not relent though, and by the 8:25 mark, Wisconsin would regain a two-point edge thanks to a 12-3 run. At that point, Davis had a game-high 25 points and 12 rebounds, as he put the team on his back with Vogt fouled out and the other bigs in foul trouble.
Davison would connect on two three-pointers to give the Badgers a two-point lead, but Wahl would also foul out shortly thereafter. However, it was Johnny Davis down the stretch that was the difference. The sophomore guard was amazing and led Wisconsin to the five-point road win.
.@BadgerMBB punches its ticket into half with this steal 'n dunk. pic.twitter.com/DG3H65YKOG— Wisconsin On BTN (@WisconsinOnBTN) January 4, 2022
Notable stat lines:
- Johnny Davis —> 37 points (13-of-24 from the floor), 14 rebounds, three assists
- Brad Davison —> 15 points (5-of-11 from the floor), three rebounds, three assists
- Zach Edey (Purdue) —> 24 points (10-of-17 from the floor), 10 rebounds, two assists
JOHNNY DAVIS IS THE BEST DAMN PLAYER IN THE BIG TEN— Bucky’s 5th Quarter (@B5Q) January 4, 2022
Up next: Wisconsin will look to keep their win streak rolling on Thursday against Iowa at the Kohl Center. Tip time is set for 8 p.m. CT and the game will be aired on FS1.