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Purdue News

Free Throws Carry Wisconsin Over Purdue 69-65

Casey Abbett

Unlike the last meeting when Purdue dominated Wisconsin, the Badgers outlasted the Boilers in a 69-65 victory on Tuesday night at Kohl Center.

With only four regular-season games left, Purdue drops to 14-13 overall and 7-9 in the Big Ten after their third straight loss, which puts the Boilers in a precarious situation for their hopes of making the NCAA tournament.  The pressure is on.

Purdue’s only lead in the game lasted 16 seconds.  With 1:48 left in the first half, sophomore forward Aaron Wheeler made two free throws to break a 22-22 deadlock for the Boilers’ only lead.  Though Wisconsin led for virtually the whole game, the Badgers’ biggest lead in the game was by just 13 points. The Badgers (16-10, 9-6 in the Big Ten) won their third straight.

The Badgers sealed the game at the free throw line as they were 6-for-6 in the last two minutes of the game.  On the night, the Badgers missed only once in 20 attempts. Purdue got to the line only ten times and made eight.

Though Purdue won the battle on the glass, 37-30, the Boilers were unable to dominate the Badgers in rebounding like they did when the two teams met on Jan. 25 at Mackey Arena.

Sophomore big-man Trevion Williams, of Chicago, carried the offensive load for the Boilermakers, with 17 points and 12 rebounds off the bench.  He started in Saturday’s loss against Ohio State.

Wisconsin’s Aleem Ford, who scored only six against the Boilers in their previous matchup and averages 7.9 points per game this season, hit a career high with 19 points.  He was 5-for-8 from three-point range, also a career high.

Purdue sophomore guard Sasha Stefanovic, who averages 8.8 points per game this season, scored all 11 of his points in the second half and helped the Boilers stay within striking distance.

The Boilers have two home games coming up, including Saturday’s game against Michigan.