Breakdown: No.9 Wisconsin at Purdue

Looking to break a three game losing streak and get back into the Big Ten conference race, No.9 Wisconsin travels to its least favorite conference venue when it takes on Purdue at Mackey Arena, a place UW has only won at twice since the early 70s. BadgerNation breaks down the matchup.

No.9 Wisconsin (16-3, 3-3 Big Ten) at Purdue (13-6, 3-3 Big Ten)

Date/Time -Saturday, January 25, 4 p.m. Central

Arena –Mackey Arena (14,124)

Television -Big Ten Network (Eric Collins and Shon Morris)

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

Series – Purdue leads 105-65 (Purdue leads 68-17 in West Lafayette, Ind.)

Last Meeting - Purdue won, 69-56, on March 3, 2013 in Madison

Wisconsin Probable Starters

1 Ben Brust (6-1 Senior Guard, 12.9 ppg)

12 Traevon Jackson (6-2 Junior Guard, 10.9 ppg)

15 Sam Dekker (6-8 Sophomore Forward, 14.1 ppg)

21 Josh Gasser (6-3 Junior Guard, 9.1 ppg)

44 Frank Kaminsky (7-0 Junior Forward, 13.3 ppg)

Off the Bench

10 Nigel Hayes (6-7 Freshman Forward, 7.1 ppg)

13 Duje Dukan (6-9 Junior Forward, 3.4 ppg)

24 Bronson Koenig (6-3 Freshman Guard, 3.4 ppg)

Purdue Probable Starters

0 Terone Johnson (6-4 Senior Guard, 13.5 ppg)

3 Ronnie Johnson (6-0 Sophomore Guard, 10.9 ppg)

5 Basil Smotherman (6-5 Freshman Forward, 6.4 ppg)

20 A.J. Hammons (7-0 Sophomore Center, 10.2 ppg)

35 Rapheal Davis (6-5 Sophomore Guard, 4.5 ppg)

Off the Bench

1 Sterling Carter (6-0 Senior Guard, 4.2 ppg)

12 Bryson Scott (6-1 Freshman Guard, 7.4 ppg)

21 Kendall Stevens (6-6 Freshman Guard, 7.4 ppg)

23 Jay Simpson (6-10 Freshman Forward, 4.7 ppg)

32 Errick Peck (6-6 Senior Forward, 4.4 ppg)

Last Time Out

MINNEAPOLIS - The porous defense continued for the ninth-ranked Badgers, who allowed another opponent – this one Minnesota - to carve up its interior defense in an 81-68 defeat at Williams Arena Wednesday.

And while the Badgers (16-3, 3-3 Big Ten) had chances to overcome their self-inflected woes in their two defeats last week, this one never appeared to be within reach, not with the Badgers reacting with the stopping power of a sieve.

"We've got to bring it for 40 minutes on the defensive end and we haven't the last couple games," said junior Frank Kaminsky. "We've got to be better."

Uncontested dunks, dribble drives that led to easy layups, putbacks off offensive rebounds, poor rotations, standing and watching; you name it and Minnesota (15-5, 4-3) did it to a Wisconsin team that is sinking quickly in the conference standings.

"With the results, it's clear that we gave up way to many easy ones," said junior Josh Gasser. "We kept working it, we kept working it and they made some tough ones, but at the same time we gave up a few easy ones that got them going."

The adjectives coming out of the locker room from Wisconsin's experienced players were the harshest they'd been all season. Gasser said he's tired of talking about the bad defense, Sam Dekker (game-high 20 points) called in an embarrassment and Kaminsky said it was time for UW to buckle down.

Minnesota's 81 points were the most the Gophers had scored on a Wisconsin team since 1994 and did most of it without leading-scorer Andre Hollins, who played only 16 seconds after he badly rolled his left ankle landing on Gasser's foot on the first possession following a made jumper.

Hollins' injury opened the door for senior Malik Smith, who came off the bench to score 14 points on 5-for-9 shooting in a team-high 34 minutes, and Deandre Mathieu, who had 18 points on 8-for-13 shooting by using his quickness to drive into the paint and score easy buckets.

Wisconsin has allowed consecutive opponents to shoot over 50 percent (Gophers finished at a season-high 58.9), proving that it's not hard to score points so close to the basket.

- Benjamin Worgull, BadgerNation.com

Last Meeting

MADISON - The senior day magic finally dissipated for the University of Wisconsin, and it likely took the Badgers' Big Ten conference title hopes with it.

After winning three consecutive conference games by at least 20 points for the first time since 1911-12, No.17 Wisconsin imploded in the second half, allowing Purdue to roll to a 69-56 victory at the Kohl Center.

"This is a pretty big loss for us," said senior Jared Berggren, as Wisconsin fell to 11-1 on Senior Day under Coach Bo Ryan. "This hurts."

And just like how the Badgers failed to close their game at Minneapolis a little more than two weeks ago, Wisconsin will regret this one for shooting itself out of a victory.

After Wisconsin shot 50 percent from the floor and 40 percent (6-for-15) from 3-point range in the first half, the Badgers shot 8-for-27 (29.6 percent) from the floor after halftime and missed their last 18 3-point attempts. Wisconsin's last 3-pointer came from junior Ben Brust at the 6:59 mark of the first half, as five UW players missed at least three 3-pointers.

"Obviously when we don't make any it looks kind of bad," said Berggren, who shot 1-for-6 from 3-point range as UW finished 6-for-28 (21.4 percent) from behind the arc. "For the most part they were pretty good looks and we didn't knock them down."

With Wisconsin's offense was spinning its wheels, Purdue (14-15, 7-9) took control for good with a 21-3 run, as senior D.J. Byrd scoring nine of his game-high 22 points and junior Terone Johnson scoring of his 16 points during that stretch.

During the7:31 Purdue run, Wisconsin went 1-for-6 from the floor, committed four turnovers and allowed the Boilermakers to score 12 points in the paint by executing floaters and getting looks off pick-and-rolls.

The Boilermakers, who came in eighth in the Big Ten in field-goal shooting in league play at 40.6 percent, hit 13 of 28 shots (46.4 percent) in the first half and finished 45.6 percent overall.

Wisconsin battled back to cut the lead to four with 7:30 remaining, but Purdue went on an 11-2 run in a 6:25 span to lead 65-52 with 1:05 to go to ice the game.

- Benjamin Worgull, BadgerNation.com

Series Notes

Purdue and Wisconsin have met only once in each of the last 2 seasons, with each team winning on the opponent's home floor. In 2012, the Badgers snapped a 3-game losing streak with a 67-62 win at Mackey Arena. Last season, the Boilermakers spoiled UW's senior day with a 69-56 win at the Kohl Center.

? The Badgers have won just twice at Mackey Arena since 1972, owning a record of 2-34 over that span. Bo Ryan's teams are responsible for both victories, claiming a 77-68 win at Purdue in 2005 and winning 67-62 in 2012.

? Since Bo Ryan arrived in Madison (since the 2001-02 season), Purdue leads the series 10-8. The Boilermakers are the only Big Ten team with a winning record against the Badgers in that era.

? Wisconsin Notes

The Badgers are fourth in the conference shooting 47.2 percent from the field overall.

A year after finishing last in the conference, UW now ranks fifth in the Big Ten in free throw shooting, connecting at a 73.4 percent clip.

Wisconsin owns an assist-to-turnover ratio of 1.53 this season (238 assists, 156 turnovers), which ranks 3rd in the Big Ten and 13th in the nation.

Dekker is one of just 4 players to rank among the Big Ten's top 15 in both scoring and rebounding (MSU's Adreian Payne, NU's Drew Crawford and Iowa's Aaron White are the other 3).

Purdue Notes

Purdue has held four straight foes to 64 or fewer points.

Senior Terone Johnson is averaging 13.3 points and 4.0 rebounds in last three games, but is just 12-of-38 (.316) shooting.

Positive rebounding and turnover margin gives teams extra possessions and Purdue typically takes full advantage of that under Matt Painter. When the Boilermakers win BOTH the rebounding and turnover margin in a game, Purdue is 78-4 when that happens in the Painter era. The Boilermakers are 4-1 this year when that happens.

Purdue has scored at least 70 points in 12-of-19 games this year and in five of the last nine outings. Last year, Purdue reached 70 points in just 11-of-34 games. As of Monday, the Boilermakers ranked 77th nationally in scoring offense, the second-highest ranking of a Matt Painter-coached team.

Prediction

Another Big Ten game means another conference big man the Badgers will have to tangle with. Hammons has provided the perfect post weapon for the Johnson brothers to utilize. Through 19 games, the sophomore leads the Big Ten in blocked shots (3.5 per game) and is sixth in rebounding (7.1). In Purdue's double-overtime loss at Northwestern Tuesday, Hammons was one of the lone bright spots with 17 points and 10 rebounds.

Outside Hammons, however, the Boilermakers have been a train wreck, pun intended, like Wisconsin has over the last two games. But while the Badgers aren't defending, Purdue isn't scoring.

Over the last two games, Purdue is averaging just 62.5 points per game, while shooting a dismal 19-of-72 (.264) from inside the three-point line. By contrast, Purdue is 15-of-43 (.349) from three-point range. The Boilers have shot just 29.6 percent (34-of-115) from the field over the last two games.

Maybe a change of scenery will be good for the Badgers. While Wisconsin has only won twice at Mackey Arena since 1972, Purdue hasn't allowed an opponent to shoot over 45 percent in a home game this season and are holding teams to 28.5 percent from 3-point range at home this season, Purdue is beatable, and unfamiliar with UW having only played them once the last two seasons.

Only two players on Purdue have played Wisconsin more than twice while only Brust, Dekker, Gasser, Jackson and Kaminsky have played against the Boilers, although the last two barely played.

Bad news for Wisconsin: Purdue is third in offensive rebounding percentage (37.4). Good news: Purdue is last in the league in defensive rebounding percentage (68.6).

Wisconsin canceled practice Thursday because of flight troubles out of Minneapolis-St. Paul. Maybe the team getting away from the court from the day will be the difference. UW's losing streak won't reach five with Northwestern next on the schedule, and it shouldn't reach four against Purdue.

UW hasn't matched up well against the Boilermakers under Matt Painter and they certainly don't play well at Mackey, but I'm picking the Badgers by six because it's been that kind of year.

Worgull's Record: 14-5

Points off Prediction: 159 (8.4 per game)


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