Badgers snap losing streak, topple Purdue 72-58

Wisconsin exercised some defensive demons in a house of horrors on Saturday afternoon, as they went in to Mackey Arena and beat Purdue 72-58. The win stopped the Badgers three-game losing streak and was just the third win at the venerable arena since 1972 for UW. 

It wasn't easy, but the Badgers earned it the hard way — at the charity stripe — where they went 27-of-33 (81.8%) on the game. 

Most importantly, the team found a way to play together on both ends of the court and it turned into a nice all-around effort. Wisconsin had all five of its starters score in double figures for the sixth time this season. UW was led by Frank Kaminsky and his 16 points. He added seven rebounds and four blocks, despite some early foul trouble once again. 

Nearly matching Kaminsky was sophomore forward Sam Dekker, who had 15 points and seven rebounds to his credit. More than anyone else, Dekker earned it the hard way. He was just 3-of-9 from the field, but made up for it by going 8-of-11 at the free-throw line. 

Wisconsin's defense finally found itself, but was also helped by a Purdue offense that couldn't hit from deep all game long — finishing 3-of-17 from beyond the arc as a team. 

UW also negated any advantage Purdue may have had coming into this one by getting three quick fouls on Purdue big man A.J. Hammons. He finished the game with just 12 minutes of playing time, two points and two rebounds in the losing effort. 

Purdue struggled offensively all game long, taking it 39 minutes to get one player in to double-figures for the game. Terone Johnson and Scott Bryson finished with 10 points each to lead all Purdue scorers. 

Wisconsin will take on Northwestern, in a return match from the Big Ten opener, on Wednesday from the Kohl Center. 

Now it's time for the Grades: 

Player Stats/Thoughts Grade

Ben Brust, G

11pts, 3 rebounds, 2 assists, 4-10FGs, 1-5 3pt FGs

It wasn't a great shooting day for Brust, but it wasn't also needed. He played scrappy on the defensive end and that's where it mattered most. He also continued to show a nose for finding the holes in opposing defenses and exploiting them. 

Nigel Hayes, F

2pts, 3 rebounds, 1-4FGS, 3 turnovers

Could it be that Hayes has hit a wall? He only saw 12 minutes of action, while every Badger big man battled foul trouble in the 1st half. Hayes continues to show he's got great post moves, but he was off in every other way on Saturday in West Lafayette. 

Traevon Jackson, G

15pts, 2 rebounds, 3 assists, 4-9FGs, 1-2 3pt FGs

Jackson has scored more, assisted more and done better with hanging on to the ball to say the least. However, he poured it on when the Badgers needed it most and made Purdue pay for fouling him. Jackson was perhaps his most aggressive and it paid off with him going 6-8 from the free-throw line. 

Sam Dekker, F

15pts, 7 rebounds, 2 assists, 3-9 FGs, 1-5 3pt FGs

Dekker had his best all-around game of the year on Saturday and it showed. Yes, he wasn't efficient from the field, but he was hacked on nearly every one of his "misses" in this game. No one played better from start to finish than he did for UW. Oh, and he actually hit free-throws! 

Josh Gasser, G

10pts, 7 rebounds, 3 assists, 2-6 FGs, 2-5 3pt FGs

He wasn't perfect from the field by a long shot, but Gasser was a perfect 4-4 from the free-throw line. He also did a great job on the boards, including an awesome offensive rebound that turned in to a no-look pass to Brust for a layup. Gasser continues to do the little things well. 

Bronson Koenig, G

3pts, 2 rebounds, 1 assist, 1-2 FGs, 1-1 3pt FGs

Koenig played 12 minutes in this one and he managed to play alright. Nothing amazing, nothing poor from him. He also continues to improve his decision making. 

Evan Anderson, C

1 rebound, 1 block, 2 fouls, 7 minutes

Anderson had a role to play in this one during the first half thanks to Frank Kaminsky and Nigel Hayes getting in early foul trouble. However, he just couldn't cut it and eventually it was a revolving door on offense & defense between Anderson and Kaminsky. It was not pretty for the big man in his most extensive playing time in a long time. 

Frank Kaminsky, F

16pts, 7 rebounds, 4 blocks, 4-6 FGs, 7-8 FTs

You're looking at the easy player of the game, which is amazing considering the foul trouble he got into early on again. However, there was no one more efficient on both ends of the floor and UW's break away in the 2nd half was led by Kaminsky on both ends of the floor. 


*Photo courtesy 247sports

Andrew Coppens

About Andrew Coppens

Andy is a member of the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA). He is the Managing Editor of MadTownBadger and associate editor of Bloguin's World Cup site, as well as Publisher of Big Ten site