Notebook: Winning Shot Not Meant to Be

After nailing the game-winning three-pointer at Texas, the Badgers looked towards Michael Flowers yet again to carry No.11 Wisconsin to victory. Only this time, the path to success was blocked.

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — As the Boilermakers picked up the pressure, the Badgers picked it.

In response to Purdue's tight man-to-man defense, Wisconsin used a high pick-and-roll frequently to start offensive sets.

According to UW head coach Bo Ryan, the pick-and-roll was a way for his team to get into its offense against the aggressive, trapping defense.

"I thought we did a pretty good job when we opened up the floor more, get some other entries into the offense," Ryan said.

With the game on the line late, Wisconsin went back to the pick-and-roll.

Michael Flowers came off a ball screen from Brian Butch at the top of the key and was met with Robbie Hummel — Butch's defender — switching onto him.

Instead of shooting a three like he had in a similar situation against Texas, Flowers tried to drive by Hummel for a lay up.

People say ‘on the road, you play for three," Ryan said, referencing a school of basketball thought that states teams should try to go for the win in regulation instead of forcing overtime when trailing in road games. "No. We're going to play to try and get the best shot. They switched out, and Michael felt he had the corner turned and he continued on the drive, felt he could make a play."

Flowers attempt was blocked, however, and Purdue gathered the loose ball. Hummel then sank two free throws, sealing the game for the Boilermakers.

Big Game Brian

Over the last two seasons, Butch has established himself as a big-game player. The senior continued that Saturday, making seven of 10 shots to post a 20-point, 13-rebound double-double.

"He was huge. He really played well," Ryan said.

Despite pulling down a game-high 13 rebounds, Butch's numbers could have conceivably been even better. The big man had several more opportunities for boards tip off his hands.

"It's one of those things where you try to get your hands on as many as you can," Butch said. "Sometimes you're not going to get them all. You just try to keep on going forward and make sure you get them next time."

On top of that, Butch may have broken out of his three point shooting slump. Coming into the game, Butch — a historically proficient three-point shooter — had made just three of 32 attempts on the season. But Butch made both his attempts against Purdue and had a confident-looking stroke.

"You just shoot the ball," Butch said. "Like I said … you just shoot the ball. Anytime you start over thinking is when you really go down in a slump.

"If it's there, I'm going to shoot it. Just keep on going."

Stormy forecast

As Hummel toed the line for two free throw attempts to ice the game, Purdue students readied to do what has suddenly become the chic thing to do after a defeat of Wisconsin in the Big Ten — storm the court.

After never having prompted the act in recent memory prior to last season, Wisconsin Big Ten road losses have turned into court stormings in each of the last four occurrences.

"We've lost four games in two years, and they storm the court every time," Ryan said. "I thought people threw loose money out on the court. I was looking for some fives. I wasn't going to dive into the students for ones. I was looking for fives and tens."

While the necessity of a court storming can be debated, especially when one considers Wisconsin losses in West Lafayette are about as common as Columbus Day — UW has won just one game in Mackey Arena since 1972 — the Badgers weren't getting too worked up about Boilermaker fans getting worked up.

"I didn't even see it," forward Joe Krabbenhoft said. "Obviously there was a sea of black, but big deal. It's a sign of respect. It's tough to beat us, and they did. I don't care. I really don't."

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