After completing a perfect non-conference list, Purdue, third in the table, returns to the Big Ten Conference game with a definite edge on the court when the Boilermakers host the Wisconsin No.24 on Monday in West Lafayette, Ind.
Purdue (12-1, 1-1 Big Ten) is 42-4 at Mackey Arena against the Badgers, including 29 consecutive wins between 1972 and 2005.
The Boilermakers closed their non-conference schedule with a 104-90 victory over Nicholls on Wednesday, taking control with a 20-0 first-half run to move to 8-0 at home this season. Zach Eddy scored 21 points on 7 of 8 shots, adding five rebounds and two blocks in just 16 minutes. Jaden Ivey had 19 points and Isaiah Thompson added 15 as the Boilermakers shot 57 percent.
“They were making tough shots. It just depends on how you see it with some of the breakdowns we’ve had, ”Purdue coach Matt Painter said. “They took advantage of us when we didn’t crack. I asked our team after the fact, if the ball doesn’t fit for us, how is this game going? We are probably losing this game. Obviously, we shot the ball well and were able to get inside.
Wisconsin (10-2, 1-1), playing for the first time in two weeks due to a COVD cancellation, avoided a furious rally to push back Illinois State 89-85 at home on Wednesday after leading by 17 at the start of Part Two. The Badgers were missing five reserves due to health and safety protocol.
Steven Crowl scored a career-high 21 points, making 7 of 8 shots, as well as nine rebounds, and Johnny Davis added 20 points and 11 rebounds, despite 6 of 23 shots.
“Well if you liked offense it was a good thing to do,” said Wisconsin coach Greg Gard. “If you like defense you probably won’t come home so happy. Credit to the State of Illinois, we knew they could obviously score points. I thought we were sporadic on both sides of the floor. It looked like we hadn’t played for 14 days.
Wisconsin also faced Nicholls, overcoming a 12-point second-half deficit to a 71-68 home win on December 15, despite Davis being absent with an illness unrelated to COVID. The Badgers had their Dec. 23 game canceled due to COVID issues in the program.
Davis, the Badgers’ most explosive player, leads the scoring (20.8) and rebounds (6.6). Senior fifth-year guard Brad Davison is averaging 14.5 points.
Ivey leads the Boilermakers with 16.7 points per game, with Edey at 14.9 points and 7.3 rebounds in just 17.5 minutes per game, and Trevion Williams adds 13.3 points and 9.1 boards. The 7-foot-4 Edey presents a challenge for Crowl and transfer 7-0 graduates Chris Vogt, who have each been foul-prone at times.
Purdue’s only loss was 70-68 to Rutgers on Dec. 8, which knocked the Boilermakers down from first place in the Associated Press’s Top 25. Purdue has won seven of the last 10 encounters with Wisconsin, including a 73-69 home win last season. behind Edey’s 21 points.
Despite the common opponent, Painter said he couldn’t get much out of Wisconsin’s game against Nicholls due to Davis’ absence. Davis also didn’t play in the Badgers’ 63-58 home loss to Providence in mid-November.
“When he’s in there, he goes, man,” Painter said. “It’s hard to beat. That doesn’t mean they aren’t a good team without him as they are, but they could end up being a special team with him.
–Field level media
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