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January 26, 2008
Purdue holds on against No. 11 Wisconsin
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Purdue coach Matt Painter often downplays wins. Not this time.
After Purdue's 60-56 victory over No. 11 Wisconsin on Saturday, Painter was straightforward about the long-term implications it could have.
"You're helping yourself get closer to your goals," he said. "I talked to our guys about the situation that we're in. If you want to get to the NCAA tournament, you have to beat teams without question that are going to the NCAA tournament, and Wisconsin is one of those teams."
E'Twaun Moore scored 16 points, and Robbie Hummel added 10 points, seven rebounds, five assists and a game-winning block for Purdue (15-5, 6-1 Big Ten), which ended Wisconsin's 10-game winning streak.
The students in the sellout crowd of 14,123 stormed the court for the first time in Painter's three seasons as coach.
"I didn't see them come down, I just got mobbed," Hummel, a freshman, said. "It was awesome. It was one of the greatest experiences I've ever had on a basketball court. It was crazy."
Wisconsin got the ball, trailing 58-56 with 10 seconds to play. Michael Flowers took the ball at the top of the key and drove to his right, but Hummel blocked his layup. Hummel grabbed the rebound and was fouled with 1.2 seconds left. He made both free throws to seal the win.
Wisconsin coach Bo Ryan said the Badgers got a good shot.
"People say on the road, you play for the 3," he said. "No, we're going to play and try to get the best shot. They switched out, and Michael felt he had the corner turned, and he continued on the drive and felt he could make a play. I thought he had a great opportunity to make a play, it just didn't work out that way."
Painter said the Boilermakers defended against the 3-pointer first.
"We wanted to eliminate the 3 and make them drive and give help, but only on certain guys," he said. "I think it was a good drive and a good play."
Purdue, which has won five straight, moved into a tie for second place in the conference. The Boilermakers' last win over a ranked team was Dec. 15 against Louisville.
Moore, a freshman guard, made a 3-pointer to give Purdue a 45-41 lead. After Wisconsin's Jon Leuer missed a 3-pointer, Purdue's Chris Kramer rebounded and went coast-to-coast for a layup to make it 47-41 with 8:14 to play.
Minutes later, Moore made a layup to make it 52-43, Purdue's largest lead.
Butch came back with a 3-pointer to end a 7:21 stretch without a field goal for the Badgers.
A putback by Butch cut Purdue's lead to 57-54 with 2 minutes left, and a layup by Marcus Landry with 48 seconds brought the Badgers within 58-56 before Hummel's big play.
Purdue needed a win like Saturday's because of a low RPI. Painter said he scheduled lesser teams early because he wanted to build confidence in his young team.
Painter said he's pleased with his team's depth. Keaton Grant was the Big Ten Player of the Week last week for consecutive 22-point games in wins over Iowa and Illinois. Marcus Green scored 22 points in a win against Ohio State. Moore's breakout game was Saturday.
"The thing that's good for us is we have different guys stepping up," Painter said. "You could go up and down the list. We have a lot of different players helping us win."
After recognizing the importance of the win, Painter tried to focus on the next challenge - at home against Iowa on Wednesday.
"This is a huge win for our program," he said. "We'll be excited about it until tomorrow morning."