The Wisconsin Badgers (17-3, 4-3) were able to revert back to their winning ways, shutting down the Purdue Boilermakers (13-7, 3-4) and winning at Mackey Arena for just the third time since 1972.
Wisconsin found their toughness on defense and held the Boilermakers to only 35% shooting from the floor en route to a 72-58 victory Saturday.
For a team that prides itself on defense, the Badgers in the past three games almost looked lost on the defensive end. Saturday against Purdue they were able to find their aggressiveness as they only allowed two Boilermakers, Terone Johnson and Bryson Scott, to score in double figures. Both players scored 10 points.
The Badgers were able to match the Boilermakers in rebounds, both with 37, and had no problem getting to the charity stripe. Wisconsin shot 33 free throws, making 27 of those.
One area of concern in the past three games was the way teams were able to score in the paint at will. Once again that posed to be a problem as Wisconsin allowed Purdue to score 40 points in the lane. But when it came down to it, the Badgers defense really tightened up and made it tough for Purdue to get anything in the paint down the stretch.
Wisconsin put up at least 70 points for the 15th time in 20 games this season, and once again did it with very balanced scoring. All five starters scored in double figures with Frank Kaminsky leading the way with 16 points despite some early foul trouble. Sam Dekker and Traevon Jackson both had 15 points, Ben Brust scored 11 and Josh Gasser put up 10 points in the victory.
It was reassuring seeing Wisconsin playing like they have been when they were sweeping the nation with a 16-0 record. For a team that was faced with a must-win situation and keep the Big Ten regular season title in sight, the Badgers rose up and answered the call.
Up next for the Badgers will be the Northwestern Wildcats at the Kohl Center on Wednesday before a tough showdown with the Ohio State Buckeyes next Saturday. I say what a better time than now for Wisconsin to go on another winning streak.