With the third-seed in the upcoming Big Ten Tournament on the line, the Wisconsin Badgers ran into a red-hot Purdue Boilermakers team, falling 91-80 on Senior Day in West Lafayette.
Purdue (24-7, 12-6 Big Ten) hit the Badgers from both inside and out. Outside, P.J. Thompson hit six of his eight three-pointers and finished with 22 points, well above his league scoring average of 5.5 points a game.
Vince Edwards (11 points) also hit three-of-five three-pointers and the Boilermakers finished 10 of 19 from three-point range (52.6%) and 28 of 45 overall (62.2%).
From inside, Freshman Caleb Swanigan hit the Badgers with 27 points and Senior A.J. Hammons added 16 as Purdue scored 28 points in the paint and had a field day (25 of 33) at the free throw line.
Swanigan made six of seven field-goals and hit 14 of 17 at the free throw line. He scored 23 of his 27 points in the second half.
The Badgers not only couldn’t slow down Purdue’s inside game, but they struggled to get to the free throw line, hitting just 15 of 20 at the free throw line.
Nigel Hayes had one of his best games of the season, scoring 30 points and pulling down eight rebounds. Hayes made three of five three-pointers and 11 of 13 at the free throw line.
Ethan Happ and Zak Showalter had 14 and 13 points, respectively, for Wisconsin. Bronson Koenig made just two of nine three-pointers and just three of 12 shots overall to finish with eight points.
The Badgers shot 57% from the field in the first half, but that dropped to 31% in the second half.
The Badgers finished in a four-way tie for 3rd place in the Big Ten, but tie breakers give them the six-seed in the Big Ten Tournament.
The Badgers will play their first game on Thursday night in the late game, against the winner of Wednesday’s game between 14th-seeded Rutgers and 11th-seeded Nebraska.