Game Day Grades: Purdue

MADISON - Finishing up the home portion of the schedule against an old nemesis, No.9 Wisconsin put three players in double figures and led virtually from start to finish in a 76-70 victory over Purdue Wednesday. BadgerNation hands out the grades.

Offense: B

Wisconsin was able to build an early lead against Purdue, thanks to going 4-for-7 from three in the first half, and get some solid production from Frank Kaminsky. Kaminsky was led Wisconsin with 22 points, going an efficient 8-for-11 from the floor and 4-for-5 from 3-point range. Traevon Jackson was second on the team with 14 points, and Josh Gasser had 13 points.

Wisconsin was able to get its offense going early by finding ways to drive to the hoop and finishing with lay ups, which led to high-efficient shots and a 44.2 percent shooting clip from the field (23-for-52).

Like the game at Penn State, Wisconsin was able to find ways to attack the hoop and get themselves to the free throw line. Even when Wisconsin was going through scoring droughts on offense, finding ways to get to the charity stripe allowed the offense to stay in somewhat of a flow. The Badgers finished the game 23-for-31 (74.2 percent) from the free throw line.

The Badgers were able to take care of the basketball with only seven times, Nigel Hayes had a team high three turnovers, which was his only downside of his game against Purdue.

Defense: B

Wisconsin looked good on defense at times but had issues protested the paint for the second straight game, making some attempts too easy for the Boilermakers. While A.J. Hammons was productive in the paint (11 points, 11 rebounds), it was Purdue guards, in particular Ronnie Johnson and Terone Johnson, who were able to attack the rim and finished the game with 15 and 12 points, respectively. Purdue finished the game with 40 points in the paint.

When Gasser and Jackson were able to keep their man in front of them, the Johnson duo struggled and Purdue finished a paltry 3-for-14 (21.4 percent) from 3-point range, not making its first three until late in the second half. Overall Purdue finished 29-for-64 (45.3 percent) from the field.

Wisconsin was able to come out and play tough defense to force 11 turnovers, seven of which came off of steals. The Badgers were able to convert Purdue's miscues into 16 points. Although Wisconsin was disciplined in the first half with two team fouls, the Badgers committed 13 fouls in the second half, allowing Purdue to reach the free throw line 13 times and chip away at the lead.

Overall: B

Wisconsin was able to put together a solid first half – going 14-for-29 from the field - to build an 11-point halftime lead and led by as many as 18 points in the second half. As has been the case at times this season, scoring drought cause UW's lead to shrink instead of the Badgers continuing to build on it.

Wisconsin made two field goals in the final 10+ minutes of the game, including going 5:47 between field goals. It was during that stretch where UW's lead was trimmed by 11 points.

The Badgers were able to receive a good production from their bench where Nigel Hayes led the way with 9 points. Hayes in particular looked strong, able to knock down his mid-range shot and found driving lanes. More importantly he was able to help keep possessions alive and help limit Purdue's second-chance opportunities by grabbing a team-high six rebounds.

Even though Dekker struggled from the field (going 1-for-7), he made up for his lackluster offensive performance on defense by recording two steals, coming up with a huge block that would have cut UW's lead to six and grabbing five rebounds. It was great to see Dekker continuing to do the little things when his offensive game is lacking.

Wisconsin lost the rebounding battle 37-to-35 and allowed Purdue to grab 12 offensive rebounds in the game, which they were able to convert into 17 points. Hammons is tough to battle down low but if Wisconsin got better positioning they would have been able to limit any second chance opportunities.

Game MVP: Frank Kaminsky. After shooting 30 percent in his last two games, Kaminsky returned to his old form in going 8-for-11 from the field, including knock down his first four shots from three. Not only putting together a solid offensive performance, the junior was able to block two shots to go along with two steals. Kaminsky could have had better numbers if he didn't get himself into foul trouble. With Kaminsky out, it took away a presence in the lane that could challenge many of Purdue's looks.


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