WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (AP) — Johnny Davis scored a career-high 37 points on Monday night to give No. 23 Wisconsin a 74-69 win over No. 3 Purdue.
The Badgers (11-2, 2-1 Big Ten) used a late 16-5 run to take control and win its third straight. Brad Davison added 15 points, and Davis also had 14 rebounds.
Wisconsin hadn’t beat Purdue (13-2, 1-2) on its home court since 2014.
Purdue’s Zach Edey took advantage of his size by scoring 24 points and grabbing 10 rebounds, while Jaden Ivey added 14 points. But it wasn’t enough to extend Purdue’s 13-game home winning streak or make it five straight. Purdue hadn’t lost since Dec. 9 at Rutgers.
Badgers coach Greg Gard stole a page right out of Purdue’s playbook by getting physical, winning inside and defending relentlessly. He gambled that the Badgers could overcome serious foul trouble in the second half and they did — barely.
Wisconsin held Purdue to a season-low first-half point total (24). Ivey opened the second half by scoring eight straight points to help Purdue to a 34-32 lead.
An Ivey layup made it 49-42 with 11:11 to go, and it looked like the Boilermakers would coast. Instead, the Badgers charged back and then rallied again to take a 71-63 lead with 1 minute to play.
Wisconsin: This young team has grown up in a hurry and is playing traditional Badgers basketball. It takes care of the ball, makes free throws and stays stay in front of opponents. If they play this way consistently, they’re going to be tough in Big Ten play.
Purdue: Just hours after breaking the school record by remaining in the top three for a seventh consecutive week, the Boilermakers had perhaps their most mind-boggling performance of the season. They looked sluggish for 20 minutes after playing for just the second time in 13 days and then failed to seal it in the second half.
Wisconsin: Monday’s performance, on the road, should turn any lingering doubters into believers. Expect the Badgers to make a big jump in next week’s rankings if they win again later this week over Iowa.
Purdue: The Boilermakers will take a hit in the rankings not just because of the result but because they showed some vulnerabilities. This was not the same strong, aggressive team that dominated the nonconference schedule.
Wisconsin: Hosts Iowa on Thursday.
Purdue: Visits Penn State on Saturday.