(CTN News) – For the second straight game, Purdue was trying to win it all. To win the Big Ten, Purdue needed to beat Michigan or Michigan lose. Purdue – Wisconsin started two hours before Michigan – Illinois, so probably knew their status before tip-off.
After 2 overtimes, Illinois won, clinching the title for the Boilermakers. Purdue still had a game to play, and they won gritty.
Purdue and Wisconsin were both a bit flat in this one, as both teams struggled to shoot (again).
Edey started 1-6 from the free throw line, which is uncharacteristic. Brandon Newman led at the half with 9 points, but Edey and Fletcher Loyer were leading the way.
Following his performance against IU, the junior out of Valpo started, and he kept the energy up, forcing a few turnovers that led to layups.
The Badgers got 8 points from Isaac Lindsey, who averaged 1.3 points before tonight. As Wisconsin didn’t want to go inside on Edey, Edey proved to be a force inside. In the first half, Purdue led 31-27.
A Purdue opponent went nuclear in the second half, hitting 3 after 3. By the time Wisconsin’s under 12 timeout came, they were 9-17 from deep. Despite that, was neck and neck with Wisconsin going into the final ten minutes.
A back-and-forth battle ensued, with Wisconsin cooling off from deep. With 6 minutes left, Wisconsin had a 53-52 lead. It would go back and forth until the end.
With 17 seconds left, led 60-57 after two Brandon Newman free throws. With 9.6 ticks left, Chucky Hepburn would get to the line for 1 and 1, and he would make both.
The ball would be put in play by Braden Smith and he would make both attempts. It was turn to foul with Wisconsin only in the single bonus round, to which Wisconsin made both of them.
With 4.4 seconds left, it was Ethan Morton’s turn. He missed the first shot but hit the second. Purdue was victorious despite Wisconsin’s final heave at the horn.
A few takeaways
Things we already knew: Edey is the best player in the country, Purdue has struggled from deep and at the line recently, and has a high turnover rate.
Additionally, we knew that Brandon Newman was worthy of starting due to his high level of energy and clutch playmaking abilities.
As a result, Purdue appears to be slow on defense and a step behind everyone, which results in drives and midrange shots. There is still a long way to go until the end of the season, but these things must be improved.
Taking on Illinois in the regular season finale Sunday, Purdue will attempt to maintain its position as the number one seed in the NCAA Tournament.
The Purdue Boilermakers are the only Big Ten champions! There are still more trophies to be won. Continue to win.