Morley hit 6 of 8 3-point attempts on his way to a career high 22 points as the Badgers snapped a 29-game losing streak at Purdue with a 77-68 victory in the Big Ten opener for both teams. It was Wisconsin's first win in West Lafayette since Feb. 15, 1972.
The Badgers, who have won their last five games, got off to a slow start but drilled 14 of 22 triples to bludgeon the Boilermakers' defense.
Purdue (4-7 overall, 0-1 Big Ten) was led by junior forward Carl Landry, who topped all scorers with 23 points, and senior guard Brandon McKnight, who chipped in 20 points and a game-high seven assists. Landry, though, fought foul trouble throughout the game, much to the Boilermakers detriment.
Wisconsin (10-2, 1-0) led 34-30 when Landry picked up his third foul of the game early in the second half. The Badgers' 3-point shooters, with Morley leading the way, then picked an opportune time to put the heat on the Boilermakers.
Morley hit 4 of 4 threes over the next three-and-a-half minutes and senior guard Sharif Chambliss chipped in one of his three triples, as the Badgers cruised out to a 50-37 lead.
With eight minutes left to play, senior forward Mike Wilkinson picked up one of his five assists, setting up Morley's sixth 3-pointer to give Wisconsin a commanding 57-44 edge.
The Boilermakers drew to within 59-50 on a McKnight basket with 5:51 left to play, but Chambliss answered for Wisconsin 32 seconds later. Chambliss finished with 16 points, six assists and four rebounds, while Wilkinson pitched in 11 points and five rebounds.
Wisconsin struggled from the charity stripe early, making only six of its first 12 free throws. The Badgers, though, connected on 9 of 10 in the final 45 seconds to seal the win.
Purdue got off to an early 16-9 lead, but a pair of Landry fouls book-ended 3-pointers from Wilkinson and freshman center Brian Butch, bringing the Badgers within 16-15 and putting Landry on the bench for the final 11 minutes of the first half.
The Boilermakers hung tight with Wisconsin without Landry in the lineup, but struggled offensively, scoring just six points in more than nine minutes following his departure.
Wisconsin, meanwhile, was hitting nothing but triples. The Badgers missed their first 10 2-point shots and made just 2 of 5 first-half free throws. They hit an uncanny, however, six of their first seven three-pointers.
All of Wisconsin's scoring came on those six 3-pointers until Morley converted a layup with 5:37 left in the first half to close Purdue's advantage to 22-20. Chambliss then hit a 3-pointer with 3:50 left to give Wisconsin its first lead since the 6-4 edge Morley provided at 17:23. The Badgers led from there on out.
The normally raucous Mackey Arena was less than half full Wednesday due to inclement winter weather and the semester break for students. In an effort to fill seats, Purdue released free tickets to the game a few hours in advance. Officials considered postponing the event, but determined around 5:30 Central time that the game would be played.
Wisconsin's 14 made 3-pointers was one off the school record for all games and tied the school record for Big Ten contests. UW made 14 against Michigan State Feb. 2, 1994. The Badgers have made 14 on two other occasions and made 15 twice: against Missouri (March 19, 1994) and against Alcorn State (Dec. 29, 1992).
The Badgers' record for individual single-game 3s is seven, a mark that has been attained eight times. The last time Wisconsin shot .600 percent or better from beyond the 3-point arc was in a Dec. 21, 2002 win over Texas Southern; the Badgers shot .636 against Purdue Wednesday.
With Purdue employing a man-to-man full-court press for much of the evening, the Badgers elected to have Morley, a 6-foot-8 forward, neutralize the press by forcing one of Purdue's big men to defend him as he dribbled up court.