Badgers test the Big Ten road

Wisconsin takes its undefeated conference mark to a place it has not won in 28 tries

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What: Wisconsin (11-2 overall, 2-0 Big Ten) at Purdue (11-4,1-1)

When: Wednesday, January 14, 2004, 7:00 p.m. CST

Site:  Mackey Arena (14,123), West Lafayette, Ind.

Broadcasts:  Fox Sports Net North, Wisconsin Radio Network

Series Notes: Purdue leads all time series 96-58


With Purdue's victory over No. 19 Illinois last Saturday, one thing's for sure.


The Boilermakers are back to playing their style of Big Ten dominating basketball.


Losing four of eight prior to the contest with the Fighting Illini, coach Gene Keady's Boilermakers seem rejuvenated on defense, efficient on offense and primed to make a run for the conference title and on top of that, ready to get their coach his 500th win.


No sooner then all of this, Purdue will also get its first shot at No. 18 Wisconsin Wednesday night on home turf.


After tough losses during the non-conference season to Southern Methodist at home and to Colorado State, the Boilermakers have found the formula for success as of recently.


"If they make shots and defend hard and rebound hard, they are going to be successful and they certainly have done that," Wisconsin coach Bo Ryan said of Purdue.


Purdue has won an incredible 28 straight versus the Badgers in West Lafayette, but this year poses to be different as the Badgers are the two-time defending Big Ten champs, carrying with them a six-game conference winning streak as well.


Under coach Ryan's offensive and defensive schemes, the Badgers are atop the Big Ten once again early in the season, however their biggest problem of the early season has been winning the big games on the road.


With losses to Maryland and Alabama away from the Kohl Center, the Badgers will need to keep to their winning formula for them to create some separation between themselves and the rest of the competition in the Big Ten.


"They're swing offense where they play everybody at every position, step out, hit threes," coach Keady said of Wisconsin. "It's almost like the Princeton offense except they post up everybody and they are very patient, don't turn the ball over much, and they don't shoot the ball quick. It looks like they're playing great defense, which they are, but I mean that's why the score is so low - they never shoot the ball quick. They're very intelligent about shot selection, and turnovers are minimum and they play good containment defense."


Key Matchup


The big match up in this game will be between the backcourts.  For Purdue, its backcourt trio of senior Kenneth Lowe, sophomore David Teague and junior Brandon McKnight will need to step up versus Wisconsin junior Devin Harris, senior Freddie Owens and sophomore Boo Wade, who have consistently won the battles with opposing guards, forcing turnovers and getting Wisconsin's offense in gear.


By the numbers


2 – The number of UW losses this season, and the number of games on the road UW has lost.


8 – In two Big Ten games this season, it's the Badgers' averaging number of turnovers per game‑less than their nation leading 9.2 overall.


0 – The number of losses coach Gene Keady has against Wisconsin at home.


88.2 – Kenneth Lowe's Big Ten-leading free throw percentage.


Probable Starters


Wisconsin Ht Yr Pos PPG RPG APG
Devin Harris 6-3 Jr. G 17.2 4.6 5.5
Freddie Owens 6-2 Sr. G 8.8 3.1 0.8
Andreas Helmigk 6-9 So. C 3.7 1.8 0.5
Boo Wade 6-3 So. G 7.0 3.5 2.5
Mike Wilkinson 6-8 Jr. F 10.7 6.7 2.1

Purdue Ht Yr Pos PPG RPG APG
Brandon McKnight 6-2 Jr. G 8.5 2.1 3.0
Kenneth Lowe 6-3 Sr. G 13.8 3.3 2.1
Ivan Kartelo 6-11 Sr. C 5.1 6.0 0.6
David Teague 6-5 So. G 10.1 4.3 1.1
Matt Kiefer 6-10 So. F 8.0 3.9 1.1



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