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No. 10 Wisconsin hosts No. 8 Purdue with Big Ten crown on line

(AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

No. 8 Purdue will be looking to reclaim the top spot in the tightly contested Big Ten when the Boilermakers face No. 10 Wisconsin in Madison, Wis., on Tuesday.

Wisconsin (23-5, 14-4 Big Ten) avenged an earlier loss with a 66-61 victory at Rutgers on Saturday, moving a game in front of the Boilermakers (24-5, 13-5), who lost 68-65 at Michigan State. Then-No. 15 Illinois climbed into a tie with Purdue with a 93-85 victory over Michigan on Sunday.

The Badgers, who won at Purdue in early January, 74-69, can clinch a share of the Big Ten regular-season title with a victory.

Wisconsin closes the regular season Sunday at home against last-place Nebraska, while Purdue hosts Indiana Saturday. Illinois finishes with home games against Penn State and No. 24 Iowa. Now-No. 23 Ohio State suffered its sixth conference loss Sunday, 75-60 to Maryland, and has three home games remaining in a six-day span.

Johnny Davis scored 15 of his team-high 19 points in the second half as Wisconsin became the first ranked Big Ten team to win on the road at Rutgers this season -- and improved to 14-1 in games decided by six points or fewer.

"I thought everybody gave us something, and we needed all hands on deck," Wisconsin coach Greg Gard said. "We were able to make some plays down the stretch, get to the free throw line, get some stops. Really happy group in the locker room right now."

Davis leads Wisconsin with 20.5 and 8.3 rebounds per game. Fifth-year senior Brad Davison, who averages 14.2 points, hit 4 of 8 beyond the arc against Rutgers after going 10 for 49 in his previous seven games.

Tyler Wahl (11.2 points, 5.9 boards), has scored in double figures in 12 of the last 14 games. Steven Crowl, a 7-foot sophomore, averages 9.5 points.

Purdue lost at Michigan State when Tyson Walker hit a 3-pointer with 11 seconds left for the Spartans. The Boilermakers committed 17 turnovers, leading to 16 points.

"We had seven turnovers at the half and really talked with the team about having a total of 10 for the game. It really challenged those guys," Purdue coach Matt Painter said. "We had four turnovers before the first media timeout. So, our inability to play at times, like we'll go three or four games and be perfectly fine. And then our inability to stay consistent and not turn the basketball over has really hurt us, especially on the road."

Purdue is second in the Big Ten in offense and an uncharacteristic 11th defensively, but leads the conference with a 12.8-point scoring margin. The Boilermakers are 0-5 when scoring fewer than 70 points.

Four players average in double figures, led by Jaden Ivey's 17.3. Zach Edey, a 7-4 center, averages 14.8 points and 7.4 rebounds, and Trevion Williams adds 11.9 points and 7.4 boards. The Boilermakers outrebound opponents by 9.6 per game.

In the first meeting at Purdue, Wisconsin rallied from a 49-42 deficit as Davis went off for a career-high 37 points and 14 rebounds, making 13 of 24 shots. Edey had 24 points and 10 rebounds for Purdue.

Wisconsin is 11-3 at home this season and 13-5 against Purdue at the Kohl Center.

--Field Level Media

Updated March 1, 2022

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