Game Day Grades: Purdue

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - It was the unlikeliest of places for Wisconsin to get back on track, so maybe the Badgers 67-62 victory over Purdue at Mackey Arena will be the starting point for a run at a conference championship? Badger Nation hands out the grades from UW's upset victory.

Offense: B+

Wisconsin had a balanced attack tonight against the Boilermakers. Five players scored in double figures and four of the five were from the starting lineup (the lone starter who did not score in double figures was Jared Berggren). Ben Brust led the Badgers with 13 points, Jordan Taylor and Mike Bruesewitz each chipped in 12 points apiece and the Badgers shot 19-for-40 (47.5 percent) from the floor.

The Badgers also got good production from its bench besides Brust 13 points. Wilson chipped in three and Kaminsky had two points. Kaminsky only received nine minutes of playing time but he managed to get three rebounds while Wilson was aggressive with the basketball.

The Badgers came out hot against the Boilermakers, making eight of their first nine shots (mostly from the perimeter where UW shot 45 percent) , and survived their cold stretches, which they needed to do in order to snap their three game losing steak. During their hot shooting streak, Wisconsin was up 26-8, but UW won the game by going 20-for-24 from the free throw line, including making its last eight free throws when Purdue kept answering with buckets.

Taylor, who had more turnovers then assists in UW's last game at Michigan, turned things around in the second half, finishing with a 2-to-0 assist-to-turnover ratio in the second half and a 5-to-2 overall. Overall the Badgers had 12 turnovers, but made up for it with their shooting.

Defense: B

Wisconsin did a good job on the defensive end with only two Purdue players scoring in double figures, and needing a lot of shots to do it. Terone Johnson had 16 points on 4-for-13 shooting and Robbie Hummel had 13 points on 5-for-17 from the floor. The Badgers held the Boilers to 21 of 61 shooting (34.4 percent) from the floor.

During Wisconsin's hot start, the Badgers defense was able to keep the Boilermakers' offense in check by forcing them in to shots they weren't comfortable with.

Purdue was able to climb back in to the game a couple of times, cutting the deficit to 45-43 and 48-45, but the Boilermakers never led in the game. Despite Purdue's comebacks, the Badgers always seem to come up with a stop or a shot when they needed one.

Although only able to make Purdue turn the ball over three times in the game, Wisconsin did a good job of contesting, altering or blocking shots. Overall the Badgers had four blocked shots with Ryan Evans and Berggren each having two blocks.

Overall: B

On their losing streak, the Badgers relied too heavily on the three-point shot. Although Wisconsin attempted 20 threes, the Badgers looked to get the ball down to the low block and the UW guards also attacked the hoop on a consistent basis.

In the first half, Josh Gasser had a couple of his points come off of him being aggressive and attacking the hoop. Same with Wilson, who also wasn't afraid of attacking the hoop. It's a good sign, seeing as, at times, Wilson seems to play hesitant and cautious, knowing he'll get pulled if he turns the ball over, instead of being aggressive.

One area where Wisconsin didn't do well was giving Purdue second chance opportunities. Even though Wisconsin won the rebounding battle overall, 36-32, Purdue had 13 offensive rebounds that led to 14 second-chance points. A good example is the opening possession of the second half. Hummel misses both of his free throws, the rebound falls in the hands of Travis Carroll and Carroll is able to pass it to a wide-open Ryne Smith who is able to knock down a three, which cut the Badgers lead to nine points.

Game MVP: Mike Bruesewitz. Bruesewitz, who has been struggling of late, came up big at the moments where he needed to. He was able to pull down timely rebounds on the defensive side of the floor when the Boilermakers were making their come back. The junior also hit critical threes in the second half, including hitting a corner three to put UW up 51-45 and deflate the Purdue's crowd a little bit.

Bruesewitz had 12 points on the night - all on three-point attempts - and also had five rebounds. He only played 21 minutes in the game due to foul trouble, but came up big. That's why he's the player of the game and why Wisconsin won at Purdue for the first time since 2005.

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