MADISON, Wisc. (AP) — Aleem Ford scored a career-high 19 points on Tuesday as Wisconsin held off a late charge from Purdue to win 69-65.
Wisconsin (16-10, 9-6 Big Ten) built a lead in the second half with strong shooting behind the 3-point arc. But it secured the win over Purdue (14-13, 7-9) by hitting all eight free throws it took over the final 28 seconds.
A Ford 3 put the Badgers up 51-38 midway through the second half, and Noel Eastern’s foul on the next Purdue possession put Wisconsin into the bonus.
But Wisconsin then missed seven of its next eight 3-point attempts. When Eastern converted a three-point play with 2:34 left, Purdue had trimmed Wisconsin’s lead to 59-56.
Later trailing 61-59, Sasha Stefanovic had two 3-point attempts with less than a minute left that would’ve given the Boilermakers the lead. But after both came up empty, the Badgers knocked down their foul shots.
Trevion Williams scored 17 and grabbed 12 rebounds to lead Purdue. Eastern scored 14 and Stefanovic 11.
Brad Davison and Brevin Pritzl each scored 13 for the Badgers and Reuvers added 12. The Badgers were 19-of-20 shooting from the foul line to overcome 38% shooting (19 of 50) from the field.
Purdue: The Boilermakers have struggled on the road this season, but had won two in a row coming in. They missed a golden opportunity to make it three straight.
Wisconsin: The Badgers have now four of five and continue to stack up quality wins as the season winds down.
Purdue: Hosts Michigan on Saturday.
Wisconsin: Hosts Rutgers on Sunday.