The University of Wisconsin men’s basketball team (16-10, 10-9 Big Ten) fell to the Purdue Boilermakers (17-8, 12-6) 73-69 in a game that was tough, competitive and down to the wire. Purdue’s points came from an atypical source — 7-foot-4-inch freshman center Zach Edey.

Edey, who averages 8.5 points, torched the Badgers for a career-high 21 points. Edey was unstoppable inside despite the best efforts of Wisconsin big men Micah Potter and Nate Reuvers.

Edey’s size enabled him to continually give Purdue second chances on offense, with four offensive rebounds. He was also efficient from the free throw line, hitting five of seven shots.

Men’s Basketball: Different venue, same story, Badgers fall 73-69 to PurdueThe University of Wisconsin men’s basketball team (16-10, 10-9 Big Ten) fell to the Purdue Boilermakers (17-8, 12-6) 73-69 in Read…

Senior guard Brad Davison led Wisconsin with 15 points, though he struggled through an inefficient shooting night.

Wisconsin Head Coach Greg Gard recognized how difficult it was to stop Edey in the past due to his size and ability to get to the free throw line.

“I thought we did a decent job on [Trevion] Williams, but Edey, obviously with his size there are some things that are harder to combat,” Gard said in a FOX Sports article. “They got him in good positions and spread us out and it’s hard to get back and defend him. And then his ability to get to the free-throw line, too.” 

While Edey was the main story of the night, Purdue also received 18 points from Jaden Ivey — his second-highest total of the season. Purdue big man Trevion Williams, who leads the Boilermakers in scoring and rebounding with 15.6 points and 8.9 rebounds per game, had a quiet night, as he was held to just nine points.

Purdue’s win improves the Boilermakers to an astonishing 42-4 against the Badgers at Mackey Arena. The Badgers last win at Mackey was in 2014.

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The Badgers’ 3-point shooting woes continued, as they managed just seven makes on 29 attempts. Guards Davison and D’Mitrik Trice were the primary culprits, combining for 5-for-16 from behind the arc.

With the Badgers at a disadvantage inside, being able to connect on 3-pointers would have drawn the 7-foot-4 Edey away from the basket, opening up driving lanes for Trice, Davison and forward Tyler Wahl. Gard’s decision to start Reuvers over Potter may have hurt Wisconsin in the long run, as Potter scored an efficient 11 points while limited to 15 minutes due to foul trouble and Reuvers went 0-for-3 from behind the arc.

For the Badgers, the culprit was once again an inability to get clean looks in a set offense, as they looked disjointed on the offensive end all night.

Men’s Basketball: Trice’s heroics prove to be too little, too late as Badgers fall 74-69D’Mitrik Trice’s late-game heroics didn’t prove enough for the University of Wisconsin men’s basketball team (16-9, 10-8 Big Ten) to Read…

Looking ahead, the Badgers’ lackluster finish to the season means that they have fallen out of the running for a double bye in the Big Ten tournament and will likely face an uphill climb in terms of improving their NCAA tournament seed.

For the Boilermakers, they have gotten hot at exactly the right time, surging into the double bye spot in the conference standings.

The Badgers need to hope for better shooting in their final regular-season game against Iowa and in the Big Ten tournament, or else they will be sent home early.