With just over four minutes to go Purdue had clawed their way back into the game to cut the Wisconsin lead to 57-53. On the very next possession Purdue played good defense and forced Wisconsin into a wild shot. Purdue was in position to get the rebound and continue to cut the lead down. Instead, Wheeler failed to box out, Wisconsin got two straight offensive rebounds, and then hit two free throws to push the lead to six. Purdue missed a short one from Williams on the next possession and Wisconsin again grabbed another offensive rebound on the other end to waste another 30+ seconds. Somehow Nojel was able to get the three point play on the other end but Wisconsin got yet ANOTHER offensive rebound when Pritzel clearly hooked Stefanovic and that was the ballgame. Purdue wouldn’t find a way back in after the lead was pushed back to 61-56. Wisconsin grabbed 5 offensive rebounds in the last 4 minutes of this ballgame. And that was that.
John Wooden Memorial Player of the Game (JWMPOTG): Despite not showing up at all, he didn’t take a shot, in the first half I’ve gotta give this to Sahsa Stefanovic. The only reason Purdue was alive in the last five minutes of the game was because Sasha hit shot after shot. If Purdue could just get some consistency out of guys like Stefanovic this would be a completely different team. Unfortunately they just can’t seem to put it together. He missed two at the end of the game that would’ve put them ahead.
Look, we all watched the game. And even if you didn’t watch the game I guarantee you know what happened. Purdue started both the first and second half by deciding that they didn’t want to play offense. They then went on a 4-5 minute burst where we saw what this team could be as they clawed all the way back to take the lead albeit briefly. Then, and stop me if you’ve heard this, Purdue went as cold as ice on offense and couldn’t put two competent possessions together back to back.
- The Purdue three point defense continued to struggle as they allowed Wisconsin to shoot at one point 10-21 from three. They finished the game 12-31 as they fell apart at the end of the game. That 10-21 was enough to put Purdue in one hell of a hole.
- Wisconsin salted the game away at the free throw line down the stretch as they went 19-20 in just an incredible display of ice in the veins.
- In the last four minutes of the game Wisconsin grabbed, roughly, 56,742 offensive rebounds. Although, it might’ve actually been five. The refs missed some pretty egregious hooks on offensive rebounds that Wisconsin grabbed. That’s not why Purdue lost but it certainly didn’t help.
- Wisconsin’s last field goal of the game was at 5:39 left in the game. From that point forward they hit 12 free throws.
- Purdue was called for 24 fouls against Wisconsin’s 14. Even taking out the four fouls that Purdue committed at the end when trying to extend the game and the foul differential was 20-14.
Purdue lost another game due to an inept offensive output and a lackluster defensive effort. At this point in the season this team is what it is. Not much, if anything, is going to change at this point in the season. With four games left in the season Purdue has to find a way to win these last games in order to sneak into the NCAA Tournament. It’s gonna be a long end of the season for the Boilermakers.