Wisconsin fought back from an 11-point second-half deficit, but when Devin Harris' last-second three-point shot from the top of key failed to connect, the Badgers had notched yet another in a long line of losses in West Lafayette, Ind., this time by a 53-51 count.
The loss was Wisconsin's 29th consecutive at Purdue, dating back to 1972. For Purdue coach Gene Keady, the win was No. 500 at the school.
The Badgers had opportunities to end the streak: with just more than three minutes to play, forward Ray Nixon hit a three to close the gap to 48-46, but on its next possession, Wisconsin turned it over. Purdue guard Brandon McKnight then extended the Boilermaker lead to 50-46 with a driving layup and Badger forward Mike Wilkinson failed to connect after spinning in the lane to get an open look near the rim.
Wilkinson, though, came back to hit two free throws on the Badgers' next possession, again closing the gap to two points. After a pair of Purdue misses gave UW another chance to tie, Wilkinson drew another foul with 20.6 seconds remaining. This time, though, he hit one of two.
Purdue guard Austin Parkinson and Harris traded a pair of free throws apiece and with 4.4 seconds left, Parkinson missed the front end of a double bonus, but knocked down the second to give Purdue the 53-51 lead. After receiving the ball off an inbound pass, Harris managed to get a good look at the basket against a defense that flustered Wisconsin throughout the contest, but the shot glanced off the rim.
Wilkinson and Harris led the Badgers with 12 points apiece. Harris was without a field goal in the second half, while Wilkinson scored all of his points in the second frame, eight from the foul line.
Kenneth Lowe paced the Boilermakers with a game-high 13, hitting 10-for-10 from the foul line.
The Badgers trailed 39-28 with 12 minutes, 46 seconds remaining after Lowe hit two free throws following a technical foul on Wisconsin coach Bo Ryan.
In a game that featured tight defense from each team, UW inched into contention as the game moved on, beginning when guard Boo Wade hit a jump shot midway through the second half, ending a nearly eight-minute drought without a field goal to close the gap to 39-31.
Two Wilkinson free throws and another Wade jumper pulled the Badgers within a 41-35 margin with under nine minutes to play, but a Brandon McKnight jump shot extended Purdue's lead to 45-36 just over a minute later.
With a five and a half minutes left, though, Freddie Owens hit a jumper to pull UW within 46-41 and Nixon followed with a two and a three on consecutive possessions.
Purdue led 24-20 at halftime despite hitting only one of its first seven shots and scoring only three points in the game's first seven and a half minutes. Then, guard David Teague lost his shoe, but drilled a three to draw the Boilermakers within 7-6. Teague followed the shot with a long two, notching Purdue's first eight points.
The team's traded leads, runs and scoring droughts until Purdue forward Matt Kiefer gave the Boilermakers the lead for good, his shot marking the seventh lead change of the first half at 19-18 with 3:06 left in the opening period.
Score by half
Wisconsin - (Field goals-Free throws-Points) - Mike Wilkinson (2-8-12), Devin Harris (4-3-12), Ray Nixon (3-1-9), Boo Wade (4-0-8), Freddie Owens (3-0-6), Dave Mader (1-0-2), Andreas Helmigk (1-0-2). Totals: 18-12-51.
Purdue - (Field goals-Free throws-Points) - Kenneth Lowe (1-10-13), David Teague (4-0-11), Brett Buscher (3-2-8), Brandon McKnight (4-0-8), Austin Parkinson (0-5-5), Matt Kiefer (2-0-4), Ivan Kartelo (1-1-3), Ije Nwankwo (0-1-1). Totals: 15-19-53.
Three point goals - Wisconsin 3 (Nixon 2, Harris), Purdue 4 (Teague 3, Lowe).
Rebounds - Wisconsin 27 (Wilkinson 9), Purdue 28 (Kartelo 7).
Assists - Wisconsin 6 (Harris 2), Purdue 9 (Parkinson, McKnight 3) Turnovers - Wisconsin 8 (Wade 4), Purdue 7 (Lowe 4).
Blocks - Wisconsin 3 (Wilkinson 3), Purdue 1 (Kartelo) Steals - Wisconsin 3 (Wilkinson 2), Purdue 3 (Parkinson 2) Fouls - Wisconsin 20, Purdue 20.
Points - in the paint: Wisconsin 18, Purdue 18 - Off turnovers: Wisconsin 5, Purdue 7 - Fast break: Wisconsin 0, Purdue 0 - Bench: Wisconsin 11, Purdue 14 - Second chance: Wisconsin 12, Purdue 6. Ties - 1. Lead changes - 7.
Men's basketball photo gallery - Images from Wisconsin's 53-51 loss to Purdue
Boilermakers contain Harris, Morley - Badgers regular ignition held in neutral
Two can play that game - Purdue out-Badgers Wisconsin