No. 3 Boilermakers keep rolling by blowing out Badgers 78-50
By MICHAEL MAROT
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (AP) No. 3 Purdue keeps it simple.
Move the ball, continue scrapping and share the credit as the wins pile up. Right now, nobody's executing the plan better than the Boilermakers who proved it again Tuesday night.
"We were going to play whatever they gave us," Vincent Edwards said after going 8 of 13 from the field with five rebounds and four assists. "So if they left Isaac (Haas) 1-on-1, we were going to get the ball to him. If they doubled him, we were going to move it."
When the Badgers doubled, Purdue (18-2, 7-0 Big Ten) made them pay.
The Boilermakers have tied Auburn for the longest active winning streak in the nation, matched the best 20-game record in school history, won their 19th in a row at home and is 7-0 in conference play for the first time since 1987-88. But they're not just outscoring opponents.
Purdue, the league's best 3-point shooting team, also has held 11 consecutive teams to fewer than 70 points.
The key: Not complicating things.
"Our defense has been really improved the whole season and I think we're getting better game to game," P.J. Thompson said after scoring 14 points and making four 3s. "If we can play defense like that, I don't know too many teams that can beat us."
Wisconsin found out the hard way.
On the final game of a three-game trip, the Badgers (9-10, 2-4) were not themselves.
They had 15 turnovers in the first half, matching their highest total in an entire game this season, and finished with 20.
Ethan Happ scored 15 points, seven assists and six rebounds but got virtually no help. Nobody else scored more than eight points or made more than two baskets.
"They have so many weapons, so many ways to beat you that if you take one guy away, they have three, four, five other guys that can beat you," Badgers coach Greg Gard said. "Those types of teams make you pay when you make mistakes."
It didn't take long to figure out.
Purdue made its first four 3-point attempts to jump out to a 12-0 lead.
The Badgers needed more than 7 1/2 minutes to make a basket and by then the Boilermakers were already pouring it on. Purdue made it 36-16 before the Badgers even had a chance to get within 39-22 at the half and then made its first three 3s in the second half.
When Vincent Edwards drove in for a layup with 16:59 to go, the Boilermakers led 50-29 and they put it away with a 10-2 run that made it 62-38.
Wisconsin: It was an atypical performance for the Badgers. They struggled to score, struggled on defense, got into foul trouble, couldn't grab loose balls and couldn't take care of the ball. Those have been the staples in Wisconsin for years now. But if they can't get healthy or can't find a solution, this could be a long season.
Purdue: The Boilermakers just keep rolling. They went 14 of 22 on 3s Tuesday and have made at least 10 3s in six of their last seven games. Coach Matt Painter insists his team can play better, but it's hard to fathom.
Wisconsin: Was outscored 19-6 in points off turnovers and 19-8 in bench points. ... The Badgers matched a season-low by allowing the Boilermakers to shoot 63.6 percent on 3s. ... Wisconsin is 0-5 against ranked teams this season, each coming from a different conference: Xavier (Big East), Baylor (Big 12), UCLA (Pac-12), Virginia (ACC) and Purdue.
Purdue: Carsen Edwards also had five of the Boilermakers' 14 steals, a season high for the team. ... Matt Haarms finished with 10 points and five blocks. ... Haas was 0 for 5 from the field. ... Dakota Mathias was 1 of 5 shooting but had five assists. ... Purdue is 17-0 on American soil. ... The 14-game winning streak is tied for the longest in Painter's tenure.
Wisconsin: Faces Illinois on Friday in the Badgers' first home game since Jan. 2.
Purdue: Heads to Iowa on Saturday.
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Updated January 16, 2018