Unlike many Big Ten contests, the officials Saturday night were calling the game particularly tightly. The Badgers took advantage of this by driving to the hoop with the dribble and drawing contact. As a result, Purdue committed 25 fouls leading to 33 Wisconsin free throws
"We did keep adding the fouls up, and that's what we were trying to do," Wisconsin head coach Bo Ryan said after the game. "Foul a couple of them out, get to the line. We didn't want to have to settle for outside shots if they were going to be that aggressive. If we kept probing and kept cutting, we were going to get to the line."
In addition, many of the Boilermaker fouls were reaches or blocks far away from the basket, early in the shot clock. Fortunately for Purdue, these mental errors did not end up costing them the game.
The referees had quick whistles, not only on the floor but on the sidelines, as well. The Badger bench was whistled for a technical foul with just over nine minutes remaining in the contest. Many on the floor and in the stands were puzzled by the call.
"I was pointing at the floor to tell our guys to get on the floor for a loose ball," Ryan explained after the game. "He (the official) looked over, the other official came over and said, ‘That guy told me to tell you that you were gesturing in the coaches box.'"
Ryan seemed confident that the official was mistaken and he was innocent of misconduct.
"There's a house feed," Ryan said of the video coverage of the game. "It will be discussed. If one thing happens in the Kohl Center, they see everything. So we'll see if what I say is correct."
Robbie Hummel converted the two free throws to push the Boilermaker lead back to 10. The technical seemed to have ignited Wisconsin, however, as they outscored Purdue 6-0 over the next minute-and-a-half.
Joe does it all... again
Wisconsin forward Joe Krabbenhoft had another fantastic all around game, finishomg one rebound shy of his fourth double-double of the season. He also had one of the best passes of the year on a feed to Jason Bohannon mid-way through the second half.
Krabbenhoft received the ball near the right elbow. Two Purdue players hedged out to guard him, including Bohannon's defender. Bohannon alertly made a back cut along the baseline and Krabbenhoft slotted a bullet of a bounce pass between the two defenders legs to Bohannon who avoided a block and finished with a left-handed reverse layup.
Hummel has the Badgers' number
Purdue freshman Robbie Hummel contributed significantly in both of Purdue's upsets of the Badgers this season. In the first meeting, Hummel blocked a Michael Flowers layup with under 10 seconds to play. Saturday night, the freshman scored a career-high 21 points on 8-12 shooting.
"Robbie Hummel just knows how to play," said Boilermaker head coach Matt Painter. "Just understands how to play, comes from a basketball atmosphere growing up. Guys like that are just fun to coach."
At 6-foot-8, Hummel presents a dilemma for opposing defenses. The Ryan guarded him with Brian Butch for much of the game, but eventually Krabbenhoft picked up the difficult assignment. This adjustment seemed to slow Hummel down but may have come a little too late.
"A big that can hit threes," Ryan said in praise of Hummel. "He doesn't need a whole lot of time to get that shot off."