Two can play that game

Purdue out-Badgers Wisconsin

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Wisconsin and Purdue entered Wednesday's game with the two top-rated defenses in the Big Ten. The 53-51 score, and each team's mediocre shooting, then, should come as no surprise.


The Badgers shot 38 percent from the floor in their first Big Ten loss of the season. Wisconsin, though, has fought through cold shooting nights before. This game, however, was different.


The Badgers calling cards this season have been reaching the free throw line and taking care of the ball better than their opponents. Wednesday, though, they did neither. Credit Purdue's defense, which did not allow the Badgers any room to operate and did a good job of keeping Wisconsin off the charity stripe for the bulk of the contest.


In the end Wisconsin scored its fewest points (51) with its fewest assists (6) and second fewest made free throws (12) of the season.


The Badgers entered the game having made 229 free throws, while their opponents had taken just 186. Wednesday, however, Purdue turned the table, hitting 19 of 23 compared to 12 of 19 for Wisconsin. The Badger did not attempt a single free throw in the first half, and took 12 in the final nine and a half minutes, six in the final 1:34 of regulation.


Wisconsin only turned the ball over eight times, but they were costly and un-Badger like miscues. Wisconsin turned it over four times in the first eight and a half minutes, with Boo Wade credited with three on his way to a game-high four. Wade, who entered the game with only 13 turnovers all season, threw a cross-court pass well over Andreas Helmigk's head and was called for traveling on the Badgers' second and third possessions of the game.


Purdue had one fewer turnover than Wisconsin, but more importantly managed to outduel the Badgers from the free throw line.


The Boilermakers shot just 36 percent (15 of 42) but connected on 4 of 10 three-point shots, including 3 of 5 from David Teague and nailed 5 of 6 free throws in the final three and a half minutes of the game after Wisconsin drew within three.


Kenneth Lowe paced Purdue with a 10-for-10 night from the line, compensating for a 1-for-6 mishap from the floor, registering a game-high 13 points.

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