Preview: No.16 Wisconsin vs. No.10 Purdue

Through four games without second-leading scorer Jon Leuer, the Badgers have gone 3-1 against the middle pack of the Big Ten Conference. The competition level is about to get cranked up, as No.16 Wisconsin looks for a rare season sweep of No.10 Purdue, something that has happened only three times since 1964.

No.16 Wisconsin (16-4, 6-2 Big Ten) vs. No.10 Purdue (16-3, 4-3)

Date/Time - Thursday, January 28, at 6 p.m. Central

Arena – Mackey Arena (14,123)

Television - ESPN (Brent Musberger and Steve Lavin)

Radio - Wisconsin Radio Network (Matt Lepay, Mike Lucas). Nationally on Compass Media Networks.

Series – Purdue Leads 102-63 (PU Leads 66-16 in West Lafayette)

Last Meeting – Wisconsin won, 73-66, on Jan. 9, 2010 in Madison

Wisconsin Probable Starters

3 Trevon Hughes (Senior Guard, 16.4 ppg)

11 Jordan Taylor (Sophomore Guard, 9.3 ppg)

12 Jason Bohannon (Senior Guard, 10.8 ppg)

24 Tim Jarmusz (Junior Forward, 3.0 ppg)

52 Keaton Nankivil (Junior Forward, 7.9 ppg)

Off the Bench

5 Ryan Evans (Freshman Forward, 4.3 ppg)

33 Rob Wilson (Sophomore Forward, 3.1 ppg)

31 Mike Bruesewitz (Freshman Forward, 1.2 ppg)

40 Jared Berggren (Freshman Center, 1.4 ppg)

Purdue Probable Starters

3 Chris Kramer (Senior Guard, 6.4 ppg)

4 Robbie Hummel (Junior Forward, 16.1 ppg)

5 Keaton Grant (Senior Guard, 5.9 ppg)

25 JaJuan Johnson (Junior Center, 14.3 ppg)

33 E'Twaun Moore (Junior Guard, 17.5 ppg)

Off the Bench

12 Kelsey Barlow (Freshman Guard, 4.1 ppg)

21 D.J. Byrd (Freshman Guard, 2.6 ppg)

24 Ryne Smith (Sophomore Guard, 3.7 ppg)

Last Meeting:

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 Leuer didn't score his first bucket until the 11 minute, 35 second mark in the second half (it was announced later that he played most of the game with a broken left wrist) 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.

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.

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 Badgers out rebounded the Boilermakers 39-32, including 10 rebounds from Leuer, 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.

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.

Purdue was led by junior E'Twaun Moore's 24 points while Hummel scored 13 points, but the Badgers' defense didn't give him much else, 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.

Last Time Out:

Penn State, the only winless team in the conference, led by as many as 16 in the second half, but Wisconsin never quit and neither did Jordan Taylor, as the sophomore hit his final six shots, scored the last eight points of regulation and seven of the first nine points in overtime to lead the Badgers to a 79-71 overtime win over Penn State.

Taylor finished with 20 points, 18 coming in the final 6 minutes, 47 seconds to give Wisconsin (16-4, 6-2 Big Ten) its fourth largest second-half comeback in program history, the largest since overcoming a 17-point deficit to Toledo in November 1982.

"We have tough, young men that will just go toe-to-toe with you for 40 (minutes or) go another five if we have to," UW Coach Bo Ryan said. "It's the young men that we have that can make something like that happen when it seems like everything is going the other way.

"Our guys do not get frustrated. They don't pound the hammer to make a square go into a round hole. They just stay within themselves."

The Badgers looked sunk when with 2:02, PSU led by eight. The Badgers had battled vigorously to get back in the game after climbing an up-hill battle from the opening minutes of the first half against a team that had no player rank in the top ten in the conference in rebounding, field goal percentage, steals or blocked shots.

After making zero field goals in the last 104 minutes, 40 seconds of game time, Taylor finally hit a three from the left elbow at 1:48, cutting the lead to 60-55, and hit another three on the following possession to cut the lead to two with 1:12 left.

When Ott traveled in the paint off an offensive rebound, one of Penn State's 18 turnovers, Wisconsin and Taylor had its opening. With 26 seconds left on the clock, Taylor hit a driving lay-up to tie the score and eventually send the game to overtime.

With the crowd still buzzing, Wisconsin made sure there was no more drama, scoring the first seven points of overtime - giving UW its first lead since 11:02 in the first half - and never allowed Penn State to get closer than five the rest of the way.

The Badgers got little production in the paint (getting out scored 22-18), were out rebounded, 38-28 and shot under 45 percent for the sixth straight game.

Series Notes:

The two teams have split the last 10 meetings, but UW won the most recent match-up, 73-66, on Jan. 9, putting a blemish on Purdue's perfect 14-0 start.

Since Bo Ryan arrived in Madison, Purdue leads the series 7-6. The Boilermakers are the only Big Ten team with a winning record against the Badgers in that era.

Wisconsin won its first game in Mackey Arena in January 1968, but has lost 32 of its next 33 games played in the arena, including a 29-game losing streak.

Thursday's contest features two of the nation's most stingy teams when it comes to taking care of the ball, as both average less than a dozen miscues per contest.

Wisconsin Notes:

Thursday's contest will mark the Badgers' sixth game against a top-25 opponent this season, owning a 4-1 record in such games. UW is one of just five teams in the nation (along with Duke, Georgetown, Ohio State and Syracuse) to post four wins against the AP top-25. The Badgers have already played three games vs. top-10 teams, knocking off No. 6 Duke and No. 4 Purdue and losing at No. 10 Michigan State.

Last season, Wisconsin held a second-half lead in 10 of 13 losses, including leads in the final 3:00 of seven of them. This season, the Badgers are the ones making the comebacks. UW has erased second-half deficits in each of its last three wins, including Sunday when the Badgers dug out of a 16-point hole vs. Penn State. That was the fourth-largest second-half deficit overcome in a win in program history.

The Badgers have posted a lower field goal percentage than their opponents each of the last six games. Interestingly, UW has won four of those six games. In Bo Ryan's tenure in Madison, the Badgers have a 52-66 record in games with a lower FG pct. than their opponents.

Purdue Notes:

After averaging 22.5 points and 9.5 rebounds per game to lead Purdue to key conference victories over Illinois and Michigan, junior forward/center JaJuan Johnson was named Big Ten Player of the Week on Jan. 25.

Johnson scored 24 and 21 points against UI and UM, respectively, to record at least 20 points in back-to-back outings for the first time in his collegiate career. He also finished with 12 rebounds against the Illini to mark his fifth double-double of the season.

Purdue has induced its opponents into 327 turnovers this season, an average of 17.2 per contest. The havoc created by the Boilermakers' defense has also limited opposing teams to an assist-to-turnover ratio of just 0.61 and propelled the Boilers to a +5.7 turnover margin.

Junior guard E'Twaun Moore heads into Thursday's game against Wisconsin shooting 49.8 percent from the floor this season, third-best among Purdue players with at least 50 field goal attempts.

Worgull's Prediction

Remember when I said Wisconsin can't afford to keep shooting bricks? I literally didn't mean it, but it seemed the Badgers took me seriously. I also said I doubt a Bo Ryan team could do that two games in a row ... but now I question if they won't do it three games in a row, especially with the two defenses that will be on display at Mackey Arena.

The Boilermakers have forced opponents into 35 field-goal droughts of four minutes or more, including 15 basket-less periods of five minutes or more. Wisconsin's Big Ten-leading defense has forced its foes into 21 scoring droughts of four minutes or longer, an average of more than one drought per game.

UW is 15-0 in games when it forces an opponent scoring drought of four minutes or longer and a main reason they beat PSU, holding the Nittany Lions scoreless for a 4 minute, 54 second stretch while UW went on a 15-0 run. The difference between PSU and PU? Purdue had three scorers that average double figures and this game is in a building UW has had little success in.

To make matters worse, Johnson, who killed the Badgers in West Lafayette last year, is coming off the best week of his season. UW shoots better than they did last week but without Leuer, the Badgers will struggle, falling by 14.

Worgull's Record: 15-5

Points off Prediction: 211 (10.6 per game)


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