No 'I' in Team

Wisconsin's leading scorer shot 2-of-15 from the floor and its senior captain spent the majority of the first half on the bench. It didn't matter for No.17 Wisconsin, as its solid guard play - led by a career-high 23 points from Jordan Taylor - helped make No.4 Purdue perfect no longer.

MADISON - When it comes to respecting the game, Wisconsin head coach Bo Ryan isn't afraid to talk about this Badgers team and the effort they put forth to play the game the right way.

When one asks what a ‘total-team effort' looks like, simply pop in the tape of No.17 Wisconsin's effort against No.4 Purdue as the prime example.

Leading scorer Jon Leuer didn't score his first bucket until the 11 minute, 35 second mark in the second half and senior Trevon Hughes and junior Keaton Nankivil sat a combined 29 first-half minutes because of foul trouble.

None of it matter with the way the Badgers picked up their fallen, making the Boilermakers perfect no longer. Sophomore Jordan Taylor established a new career-high with 23 points and senior Jason Bohannon tied his career high with 20 points and three blocks to help No.17 Wisconsin earn a valiant 73-66 victory Saturday, ending No.4 Purdue's four-game winning streak in the series.

Purdue had never opened the season with 15 straight victories. Wisconsin had never lost three straight home games to one opponent. Both those marks still remain firmly intact.

"(This) was very big for us," Bohannon said. "We had a tremendous team coming in here to our home court and we're coming off a tough loss up in East Lansing. It was a big statement for us to come out strong and play well in that first half and finish strong in the second half, too."

Even with Hughes and Nankivil on the bench because of foul trouble, Wisconsin (13-3, 3-1 Big Ten) still led 30-29 at halftime due to the standout guard play Taylor. Playing 16 first-half minutes in reserve for Hughes, Taylor's line speaks for itself – 4-of-6 from the floor, 4-of-5 from the line and 13 points.

Bohannon was right there with Taylor, chipping in nine points during the full 20 minutes to help UW overcome 33.3 percent shooting from the floor.

"He did a great job getting in the lane, making the right decision, finished strong, drew the foul or kicked it out to the open guy," Bohannon said. "When you have a point guard do that, you are a very tough team to beat."

Added Ryan of Taylor, who finished 7-of-11 from the floor and 8-of-11 from the free-throw line: "There's absolutely no doubt in my mind that that was the game right there. Purdue, with the way they do things, that could have been 10, 15-point half in their favor."

The big assist could also trickle down to Mike Bruesewitz (five rebounds in six minutes), and Rob Wilson (three boards) in the first half, as those two helped Wisconsin erase its rebounding woes.

The story less than 72 hours ago was how Wisconsin was unable to match the physicality in the paint and getting out rebounded by 14 in its loss at No.10 Michigan State. The Badgers responded to that wake-up call by out rebounding the Boilermakers 39-32, including 10 rebounds from Leuer, who overcame of 2-of-15 shooting night.

Additionally, Wisconsin grabbed 10 offensive rebounds, turning those into 10 points, only allowed Purdue (14-1, 2-1) to nab five offensive rebounds and got 33 points from its bench, out scoring Purdue by 24 in bench production.

"You are always looking to try and get that one-ups-manship on people and I thought we did a little bit better of a job getting to some of the 50-50 rebounds," Ryan said. "We got to more of those this game than last game."

Wisconsin's guards also did a better job finishing their shots. Against Michigan State, Bohannon, Hughes and Taylor had 24 shots that resulted in 24 points. Against Purdue, the trio had the same 24 shots, only to score 57 points.

"Their guards were very efficient," Purdue head coach Matt Painter said. "They got a lot of production from their guards and we simply could not stop them … Anytime you can bring someone off the bench and get 23 points on 11 shots, that's impressive."

Purdue entered the day forcing 18.4 turnovers per game and a plus-6.79 turnover margin, tops in the conference, but the Badgers only had one team turnover in the second half and eight for the game.

"We shot well and we defended well," Bohannon said. "For the most part, our team played a great game."

Purdue was led by junior E'Twaun Moore's 24 points while Robbie Hummel scored 13 points to become the 19th Purdue player to score 1,000 points and 500 rebounds for his career, but the Badgers' defense didn't give him much else.

The junior, who entered the game shooting 46 percent from three-point range, made only 1-of-4 from the perimeter, with his only make a banked-in bucket in the final minute, while shooting 3-of-13 overall. As a team, Purdue shot 3-of-10 from the perimeter and made only 13 of its 24 free throws.

"We didn't make it a basketball game until the very end," Painter said. "At times, we weren't really smart, putting our hands on them too much, letting them get to the free throw line and get to the bonus. We didn't capitalize on it and they did."

Purdue was able to stay close at the end of the first half after Wilson was whistled for a technical foul after he accidentally elbowed Hummel in the face after celebrating a lay-up in the paint, a play that gave Wisconsin a five-point lead at the time. Purdue ended up scoring four points on that possession after the incidental contact to cut the halftime lead to one, which incidentally sparked the Badgers in the second half.

The Badgers stormed out of the gate on a 17-4 run, pushing the lead to 47-33, getting five points from freshman Ryan Evans during that span and an awakening play from Nankivil. After twice missing a jumper in the paint and twice getting his own offensive rebound, Nankivil had enough, slamming home a thunderous dunk.

"I tried to open the door yesterday and there was snow outside the door," Ryan said. "I banged the door, I banged the door (and) on that third one, I am telling you, there was no snow on the other side of that door. How about Keaton? On that third one, he flushed all the snow right out."

The Boilermakers made a mini-run late, getting the lead down to single digits with 3:25 remaining. Wisconsin didn't make a field goal in the final 5:23, but the Badgers made 12-of-14 free throws during that time frame to salt away the clock, and Purdue's perfect record.

"That's there first bump, but that's a pretty good team we got one against and we'll have to play them again," Ryan said. "There's more out there. There are more things that we'll have the opportunity to do and that starts with the 40 minutes against Northwestern."


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