The effort was there. The execution simply wasn't.
They just didn't receive help from anyone else.
Josh Gasser went 1-for-7. Keaton Nankivil shot 2-for-9 and 1-for-6 from three-point range. Mike Bruesewitz missed all three trey attempts. As good as the role players were Saturday they were as off Wednesday.
Ryan Evans helped keep the Badgers in the game by scoring 11 points on eight shots. Evans was fortunate to get away with two fairly obvious charge calls, however, and was aided by refs that were quick to blow the whistle on blocking calls.
Leuer was at his offensive best, scoring on several dunks, posting up effectively and knocking down mid-range jumpers. His output helped neutralize JaJuan Johnson's scoring on the other end.
Big Ten play-by-play announcer Gus Johnson kept going on an on about how Lewis Jackson slowed down Taylor, but the numbers would suggest otherwise. More likely, Taylor's assist numbers would have been better than five if his teammates had been able to knock down some open jumpers.
If there was anything positive out of the game, UW's rebound on the offensive boards was special for the second game in a row. Gasser and Nanks grabbed three apiece and Brueser pulled down two impressive rebounds on the offensive end.
Still, during one possession Bruesewitz and Gasser each pulled down an offensive rebound and UW still came away with zero points.
Sometimes there a games where you just can't catch a break.
Lewis Jackson is renowned across the Big Ten for being unable to consistently hit a jump shot. He proved that M.O. wrong Wednesday, knocking down 6-of-9 from the field and finishing the game with 18 points, one off his career high.
Jackson was given room to operate because Johnson and E'Twaun Moore both require special attention. Both of them scored well Wednesday, but it would have been palatable without Jackson going off like he did.
The rare backdoor cut fooled the Badgers when Gasser overplayed Ryne Smith and was taken for a layup … Gasser was often used as a point guard, even with Taylor on the floor, presumably to give Taylor a break bringing the ball up the court against the speedy Jackson … Evans got away with obviously hooking defender Kelsey Barlow in the post. It is not a move he will get away with many more times.
In the grand scheme of things, losing at Purdue after an emotional game against Ohio State is not that bad. It becomes a problem, however, if UW cannot figure out a way to win away from the Kohl Center.
MVP: Ryan Evans. He didn't score as many points or get as many rebounds as Leuer, but he gave UW a lift off the bench by playing hard and smart, scoring 11 points and grabbing six rebounds in a career-high 28 minutes.