Breakdown: Purdue at No.17 Wisconsin

Looking to send its five seniors out of the Kohl Center with a win, No.17 Wisconsin hosts struggling Purdue in the only regular season meeting between the two teams this season.

Purdue (13-15, 6-9 Big Ten) at No.17 Wisconsin (20-8, 11-4 Big Ten)

Date/Time -Sunday, March 3, 12 p.m. Central

Arena –Kohl Center (17,249)

Television - Big Ten Network (Dave Revsine and Shon Morris)

Radio - Wisconsin Radio Network (Matt Lepay and Mike Lucas)

Series – Purdue leads 104-65 (Wisconsin leads 46-36 in Madison)

Last Meeting - Wisconsin won, 67-62, on January 12, 2012 in West Lafayette, Ind.

Wisconsin Probable Starters

1 Ben Brust (6-1 Junior Guard, 11.4 ppg)

5 Ryan Evans (6-6 Senior Forward, 10.5 ppg)

12 Traevon Jackson (6-2 Sophomore Guard, 6.4 ppg)

31 Mike Bruesewitz (6-6 Senior Forward, 6.7 ppg)

40 Jared Berggren (6-10 Senior Forward, 11.6 ppg)

Off the Bench

3 George Marshall (5-11 Freshman Guard, 4.6 ppg)

15 Sam Dekker (6-7 Freshman Forward, 9.5 ppg)

32 Zak Showalter (6-2 Freshman Guard, 1.9 ppg)

44 Frank Kaminsky (6-11 Sophomore Forward, 4.6 ppg)

Purdue Probable Starters

0 Terone Johnson (6-2 Junior Guard, 12.7 ppg)

3 Ronnie Johnson (6-0 Freshman Guard, 9.7 ppg)

21 D.J. Byrd (6-5 Senior Forward, 9.5 ppg)

35 Rapheal Davis (6-5 Freshman Guard, 5.0 ppg)

55 Sandi Marcius (6-9 Junior Forward, 8.3 ppg)

Off the Bench

1 Anthony Johnson (6-3 Sophomore Guard, 2.9 ppg)

32 Andre Almeida (6-11 Senior Center, 4.9 ppg)

Last Time Out

MADISON (BadgerNation) - N Making seven of its first 10 3-point attempts, No.17 Wisconsin had little trouble rolling over Nebraska, 77-46, Tuesday night at the Kohl Center to draw even closer to the top spot in the Big Ten.

Not only did Wisconsin (20-8, 11-4 Big Ten) move into a tie for second place in the Big Ten, the Badgers moved within one game of first place after Minnesota registered its first win against the top-ranked team in the AP poll since 1989 with a 77-73 over No.1 Indiana (24-4, 12-3).

Sam Dekker scored 13 of his team-high 19 points in a first half to help Wisconsin shoot 59.2 percent and score 44 points, the most the Badgers had registered in a half since scoring 47 points against Samford Dec. 29.

Ryan Evans added 14 points (6-for-13), seven rebounds and went 2-for-2 on his jump-shot free throws. Ben Brust added 13 points, his seventh straight game with double-figure scoring, and Jared Berggren added four blocks, surpassing Rashard Griffith as the school's all-time block leader (126).

Wisconsin has won three-straight Big Ten games by 20+ points for the first time since the 1911-12 season and shot 48 percent from 3-point range Tuesday, a stark turnaround after going 19 of 64 from 3-point range (29.7 percent) in last three games combined.

Much like Wisconsin's last two dominant victories over then-No.13 Ohio State and Northwestern, the Badgers used a dominant first half to dictate tempo and seize control.

After Nebraska (13-15, 4-11) took a two-point lead, the Badgers unloaded with a 27-4 run over 8:16 that included points from six different players, 3-pointers from four players and 11 points from Dekker. Wisconsin finished the first half with 13 assists to only three turnovers, and never looked back.

Last Meeting

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (BadgerNation) -Call it a collective sigh of relief or the basketball gods finally balancing out the last two weeks, but Wisconsin is back on track after winning in the most improbable of places.

"We've been talking about all year, all summer, all fall in our workouts, being road warriors, getting some big wins on the road, (and) this was near the top of the list just because we haven't been very successful here," said Josh Gasser, one of the five Badgers in double figures to help UW win, 67-62, against Purdue at Mackey Arena for only the third time since 1968.

"Coming here getting a win is exactly what we wanted to do. We've just got to start something now."

Wisconsin shot 47.5 percent (19-of-40) from the floor, 45 percent (9-of-20) from three-point range and 83.3 percent (20-of-24) from the free-throw line. The last time the Badgers hit those marks was at Nebraska December 27, which coincidentally was the last game UW won.

After going 11 games without reaching double figures in scoring, Bruesewitz was one of the big catalysts for Wisconsin, scoring 12 points, all on three pointers, and was one of three players to grab five rebounds before fouling out with 39.1 seconds left.

Brust led the Badgers with 13 points, Gasser scored nine of his 10 points in the first half and senior guard Taylor scored all 12 of his points after halftime, including going 8-for-10 from the free-throw line to help starve off Purdue's late charges.

Terone Johnson led Purdue with a career-high 16 points (but shot 4-of-13) and Robbie Hummel scored 13, but made just 5 of 17 shots after being hounded all night by Evans. After Hummel scored 21 points against the Badgers as a freshman in 2009, the senior has averaged 12.4 points per game in five meetings, but is a combined 20-for-67 (29.8 percent) over that stretch.

As a team, Purdue made just 21 of 61 field goals overall (34.3 percent) and went a backbreaking 12-for-22 from the free-throw line, including D.J. Byrd missing 3 of 5 free throws following a three-point foul and a technical on UW coach Bo Ryan protesting the call in the first half.

Series Notes:

For the second year in a row, Purdue and Wisconsin will only face each other once in the regular season.

Wisconsin has won three of the last five meetings with Purdue, including the last two contests at the Kohl Center in 2010 and 2011. Overall, UW has won 9 of the 11 Kohl Center meetings between the Badgers and Boilers.

? The teams have split the last six meetings following a four-game Boilermaker winning streak in the series from 2008- 09; the Kohl Center is the lone B1G venue in which seniors Dru Anthrop and D.J. Byrd have not posted a victory.

Since Bo Ryan arrived in Madison, Purdue leads the series 9-8. The Boilermakers are the only Big Ten team with a winning record against the Badgers in that era.

Wisconsin Notes

Sunday marks the final home game for Wisconsin's 5 seniors: Jared Berggren, Mike Bruesewitz, Ryan Evans, Dan Fahey and J.D. Wise. This year's senior class has: won 95 games, won at least 20 games every year, advanced to 3 NCAA tournaments and is closing in on a 4th, advanced to 2 Sweet 16s and combined to tally 2,284 points, 1,547 rebounds in 7,427 minutes

The Badgers have won six of their last seven games thanks in large part to an offense that is rounding into form. UW is averaging 69.0 points per game over the last seven games, topping 70 points four times. Over its last three games, the Badgers are shooting 50.0 percent from the field and 39.3 percent from 3-point range (24-for-61). The Badgers averaged 13.0 free throw attempts through the first eight Big Ten games. Over the last seven games, UW is shooting 21.0 FTs per game.

During Big Ten play alone, seven different players have led the Badgers in scoring - Jared Berggren, Ryan Evans, George Marshall, Mike Bruesewitz, Sam Dekker, Traevon Jackson and Ben Brust.

Wisconsin ranks 4th in the Big Ten averaging 12.2 offensive rebounds per game this season after averaging 9.7 offensive rpg last season. By comparison, UW's opponents are averaging just 8.8 offensive rebounds per game, which is tied with Penn State for the Big Ten's best mark and ranks 16th in the nation.

UW has seven different players who have made at least 10 3-pointers this season. Northwestern is the only other team in the Big Ten to seven different players connect on 10+ triples.

Purdue Notes:

The rookie quartet of Hale, Hammons, Johnson and Rapheal Davis are combining to average 29.9 points per game this season, which translates into 46.5 percent of the Boilermakers' scoring on the year.

The Boilermakers head into the weekend as the top-ranked rebounding team in the Big Ten in league action, grabbing an average of 37.9 per game; Purdue's average of 13.2 offensive boards per game in league play ranks second in the B1G.

The Boilers enter the weekend ranked second in the Big Ten with an average of 4.9 blocks per game in B1G play; Hammons leads the B1G with an average of 2.4 blocks per game in conference action, piling up 36 in 15 games.

Hammons ranks in the top four among B1G freshmen in points, total rebounds, offensive rebounds defensive rebounds and blocks per game (both overall and conference); he is the only active freshman in the power six conferences averaging at least 10 points, six rebounds and two blocks per game.

With Hammons as the focal point, the Boilers have scored 898 of their 1,800 points (49.9 percent) this season in the paint; Purdue is averaging 32.1 points per game in the paint and outscoring opponents by an average of 5.9 points per game on the block.

Prediction

Johnson and Hammons are Purdue's two best players. Johnson is averaging 14.2 points on 45.6 percent shooting in the last five games and has scored in double figures in 27 of his last 35 games. Hammons ranks in the top four among Big Ten freshmen in points, total rebounds, offensive rebounds defensive rebounds and blocks per game (both overall and conference). He is the only active freshman in the power six conferences averaging at least 10 points, six rebounds and two blocks per game.

With Hammons as the focal point, the Boilers have scored 898 of their 1,800 points (49.9 percent) this season in the paint; Purdue is averaging 32.1 points per game in the paint and outscoring opponents by an average of 5.9 points per game on the block.

The problem this year for Purdue has been offense. After shooting 52.9 percent in a win over Northwestern following an eight-day layoff, Purdue shot only 36.5 percent (19 of 52) three days later at Iowa with D.J. Byrd and Terone Johnson were a combined 3 of 17. Purdue also had trouble securing the basketball, committing a combined 49 turnovers in its last three road games. Not surprisingly, Purdue has lost those three games by a combined 19.3 points.

Freshman point guard Ronnie Johnson has been guilty of 66 turnovers in 26 games. By comparison, Lewis Jackson turned the ball over 60 times in 35 games during his senior year.

Entering their final conference road game, the Boilermakers have lost six of eight (winning only at Penn State and home against Northwestern). In those five defeats, the Boilermakers have allowed an average of 78.3 points. No. 1 Indiana (twice), Northwestern, Michigan State, Illinois and Iowa have shot a collective 46.8 percent from the field (161 of 344). That number was hovering close to 50 percent until the Hawkeyes shot 31.4 percent.

If Purdue doesn't win its final three regular-season games, it will finish with the program's first losing season since 2005-06 (9-19), which was Matt Painter's first as the Boilermakers' head coach.

Purdue has done well at the Kohl Center over the years with Matt Painter as its head coach – Purdue is one of just three Big Ten teams to record two wins at the Kohl Center in the Bo Ryan era – but this isn't the same high-powered Boilers that have invaded the Kohl Center in past years.

Wisconsin has won three straight games by 20 points or more. Can they make it four? Absolutely, and will beat Purdue by 21.

Worgull's Record: 18-10

Points off Prediction: 312 (11.14 per game)


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