Charging the Right Direction

Shaking off what could have been a critical offensive foul called against him early in the second half, junior guard Traevon Jackson's savvy play late in the second half propelled No.9 Wisconsin to a 72-58 victory at Purdue.

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - It's a play that Traevon Jackson would have stewed about and affected his play earlier in his career, or earlier in the week for that matter.

But while Wisconsin's junior point guard admitted he made the wrong decision that cost him an offensive foul, and potentially his team's momentum, sulking about it wasn't going to help the Badgers try and break a three game losing streak if he didn't play composed.

"I just think during those times you just really have to dig down deep and keep persistent," said Jackson. "Those are times where you work for those things. You have a little slide in your play and you have to dig down deep and tell yourself you can do this."

Following an offensive foul and a benching, a re-energized Jackson returned to the floor and scored 12 of his 15 points in the second half to help No.9 Wisconsin to a 72-58 victory over Purdue Saturday at Mackey Arena.

With Wisconsin (17-3, 4-3 Big Ten) clinging to a 42-36 lead in the early minutes of the second half, Jackson sped down the floor, thought he saw a defender in the circle underneath the basket and took a gamble that he could draw a foul instead of pulling up, using a shot fake or making a bounce pass.

The result was a charge call as Jackson flew out of control into the paint and received a quick hook by the Wisconsin bench, which was for controlled possessions instead of fast ones.

When Jackson returned, he found his rhythm. After going a combined 4-for-15 in UW's last two losses, Jackson scored on nine consecutive points during a span of 2:34, scoring from the free throw line, 3-point line and a driving layup to give UW a 65-50 lead with 3:19 left.

"He's an extremely mentally strong kid," Wisconsin associate head coach Greg Gard said. "He takes a lot of pride in his work. Obviously, when he has some miscues those bother him, and the nice thing about him is he keeps battling through and bounces back and is able to always give us something better the next time in."

The bounce back could be seen at the end of the first half. Holding for the final shot with a five point lead, Jackson missed his attempted his layup with nine seconds left on the game clock, leading to a wide-open break at the other end for Purdue, which cut the lead to three at halftime.

Instead of letting the play linger, Wisconsin kick started the second half with a 9-2 run. Purdue eventually got as close as three right after Jackson's charge, but Jackson and his teammates never let the Boilermakers get over the hump.

"I am just proud of my teammates because we came out and responded right away instead of sulking, pouting about it," said Jackson. "We moved on to next, we kept it going and we kept playing every possession the way we were supposed to play them."


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