This one was pretty much over before it started.
Purdue came out and hit its first four three-point attempts. It was up 18-2 before Wisconsin even hit a field goal. The lead reached 23-4 with 10 minutes left in the first half before Wisconsin even knew what hit them. Really, it could have been worse, too. Isaac Haas struggled to get on track and missed several shots at hte rim. Purdue missed a few open threes as well.
From there the Badgers player Purdue mostly even, but the damage was done. Any time it looked like Wisconsin might get some momentum and get back into the game Purdue would hit a shot. With Haas and Dakota Mathias not hitting their usual marks Purdue got offensive contributions from others. P.J. Thompson was in double figures for the first time since the Tennessee State game, connecting on four threes and notching 14 points. Matt Haarms got loose for a few dunks, his first three, and 10 points. Ryan Cline hit on a few of threes for 9 points.
Then there was Wisconsin, who was completely disjointed most of the night. At one point Brad Davison, their second leading scorer, had 0 points, 4 fouls, and 7 turnovers. He did eventually get a basket, but Purdue made his life miserable. Carsen Edwards feasted on the turnovers with five steals. The sophomore had one of his most complete games as a Boilermaker with 21 points on 9 of 16 shooting, 3 assists, 5 steals, and 2 rebounds.
Vince Edwards also had a rather mundane 20-5-4 night. I say mundane because everything came in the flow, but he did have a pair of nasty dunks in traffic. He was also strong defensively with a pair of steals.
Wisconsin was also really, really bad for most of the night. They finished with more turnover (20) than made field goals (17). Of those 20 turnovers, 14 came on steals as Purdue’s guards regularly picked hte pocket of Badger guards. Ethan Happ was the only one that did much of anything offensively. Of course, when you connect on only one field goal in the first 10 minutes of the game that often makes it difficult to win.
Really though, it could have been much worse for Wisconsin. Purdue was not at its best after the opening run. Haas and Mathias were very quiet with only 4 points combined. Purdue shot worse than 50% from the free throw line. None of it mattered because Purdue held an opponent 50 points or less for a second consecutive game.
Next up is a trip to Iowa City, and a final shot for this senior class to get one of the last two B1G arenas they have not won in. The Hawkeyes are not great, but I continue to say we can take nothing for granted.
That said, we’re really, REALLY good, and when we get going it is just poetry at times.