Madison, WI – Madison, WI (SportsNetwork.com) - The fourth-ranked Wisconsin Badgers put their seven-game win streak on the line when they entertain the Purdue Boilermakers at the Kohl Center on Wednesday evening.
Both teams come in after winning their first two Big Ten Conference bouts, with Purdue beating Minnesota (72-68) and Michigan (64-51), and Wisconsin taking down Penn State (89-72) and Northwestern (81-58).
The Boilermakers are 10-5 overall, but they have played the majority of their games at home -- this being only their second true road game of the season. The team's modest two-game win streak comes on the heels of a three-game slide, which included an 89-84 setback to visiting Gardner-Webb.
The Badgers have only lost once in 15 opportunities, and the team has been ranked in the top-five all season long. Bo Ryan owns 158 career Big Ten wins, and needs just one more to set the UW record. The Badgers are 7-1 at home this season, the lone defeat coming against Duke on Dec. 3.
Purdue owns a 104-69 lead in the all-time series with Wisconsin, but the Badgers have won three of the last four meetings, including a season sweep in 2013-14.
Purdue played extremely well on defense in its recent win over Michigan, holding the Wolverines to 31.9 percent field goal efficiency, while doubling up the Maize and Blue on the boards, 44-22. Vince Edwards scored 16 points, A.J. Hammons had a double-double consisting of 15 points and 12 rebounds, and Jon Octeus finished with 13 points and eight boards for the Boilermakers, who made good on 45.7 percent of their total shots, despite missing 10 of their 13 3-point tries. Michigan shot just 4-of-22 from the floor in the second half, scoring a mere 18 points.
Purdue is putting up 75 ppg behind typical shooting outputs of .462 overall and .340 from beyond the arc, while the team's defensive effort yields just 64.5 ppg, with foes shooting nearly as well from distance (.386) as they are the field overall (.407). Balance has been the key to the Boilermakers' success on offense, as four players average between 10.3 and 11.0 ppg, with Kendall Stephens leading the way.
As has been the case all season long, Wisconsin performed well at both ends of the court in its recent win over Northwestern, knocking down 52.6 percent of its field goal attempts, which included a 12-of-25 showing from 3-point range, while the Wildcats were successful on only 4-of-14 perimeter launches and 39.3 percent overall. Frank Kaminsky continued his assault on opposing teams, logging a double-double with 16 points and 10 rebounds, while Sam Dekker also tallied 16 points, Duje Dukan 14 off the bench, and Nigel Hayes 10 points for a Wisconsin squad that committed only seven turnovers.
Kaminsky is averaging 16.6 points and 8.5 rebounds per game to lead the team in both categories, doing so while shooting 52.8 percent from the field. Dekker nets 12.7 ppg and Hayes 12.4 ppg to go with 7.0 rpg to round out the double-digit scorers for a squad that generates 75.1 ppg while permitting just 54.1 ppg. Wisconsin ranks second in the Big Ten in rebounding margin (+7.6) and has an assist-to-turnover ratio of 1.59, turning the ball over just 8.5 times per tilt.