WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Junior center Frank Kaminsky and his teammates on the University of Wisconsin men’s basketball team didn’t know Bo Ryan was sick until the veteran coach mentioned it during a timeout.

“He said, ‘Keep the trash can ready,’ ” Kaminsky said, “and then I kind of took a step back because I didn’t want him to throw up on me.”

Imagine how queasy Ryan’s stomach would have been if he had to stand on the sidelines and watch another poor defensive showing from the No. 9 Badgers.

UW was far from perfect on that end of the court Saturday evening, but its performance was good enough to leave Mackey Arena with a 72-58 victory over Purdue.

Kaminsky scored 16 points to lead five players in double figures as the Badgers (17-3, 4-3 Big Ten) ended a three-game losing streak. Junior guard Traevon Jackson and sophomore forward Sam Dekker had 15 points apiece, senior guard Ben Brust scored 11 points and junior guard Josh Gasser provided 10 points for UW.

It had been 17 days since UW had beaten Illinois to win its 16th consecutive game to start the season

“It seems like longer (ago) than that,” Kaminsky said.

Kaminsky was then asked if the Badgers felt relieved to end their losing streak.

“Umm, no,” he said. “We still have a lot of basketball left in the Big Ten. This is something that will get the ball going back in the right direction, but there’s no relief because we’re still not satisfied with those three losses and we still have a lot to learn and a lot of basketball left.”

Ryan, who came down with the flu late Saturday morning, was so ill he couldn’t come to the post-game interview session, leaving associate head coach Greg Gard to take his place.

Gard called it a “great bounce-back win” and said the Badgers were “much better, much sounder” on defense after allowing three consecutive opponents — Indiana, Michigan and Minnesota — to shoot better than 50 percent.

The Boilermakers (13-7, 3-4), who got 10 points apiece from senior guard Terone Johnson and freshman guard Bryson Scott, shot 35.4 percent from the field and 17.6 percent from 3-point range.

Purdue scored 40 points in the paint — Indiana and Minnesota had produced 52 and 48, respectively, against UW — but that number could have been higher if the Boilermakers hadn’t settled for mid-range jumpers and 3-point attempts so early in the shot clock.

“Those are the shots that they actually want you to take,” Johnson said. “We were having some success getting inside. I have no clue why we reverted back to shooting bad shots.”

The Badgers were more than willing to let the Boilermakers, one of the worst-shooting teams in the Big Ten since the start of conference play, keep firing low-percentage shots.

“When you can force a team to take tough contested jump shots and close out strong on them,” Dekker said, “it’s going to help you, obviously, to get quicker stops.”

Purdue coach Matt Painter was just as disappointed with his team’s play on the defensive end.

The Badgers drew 24 fouls, resulting in 33 trips to the free throw line. UW converted 81.8 percent of those opportunities, with Dekker, Kaminsky and Jackson combining for 21 made free throws.

“Our positioning on defense was poor, so we were behind plays and so we foul,” Painter said. “And then our guys complain about the calls, when in reality I don’t think they missed too many tonight. I thought the officials were pretty good.”

Purdue sophomore center A.J. Hammons, who leads the Big Ten in blocked shots, was limited to just 12 minutes because of foul trouble. He picked up two fouls in the opening 95 seconds of the game, then was whistled for his third midway through the first half, 26 seconds after Painter inserted him with the Boilermakers trailing 20-13.

Hammons returned in the second half but was a non-factor, finishing the game with more turnovers (three) than points (two).

“It’s an advantage for us when he’s not there,” Kaminsky said. “We were able to get some things going to the rim and it really got everything going.”

The Boilermakers were within 42-39 after a 3-pointer from freshman guard Kendall Stephens with 15:27 left in the game, but UW answered with a 10-2 run to build a double-digit cushion.

Jackson, who scored 12 points after halftime, was nearly flawless after being called for a charge following an out-of-control drive into the paint with 15:38 left to go and UW clinging to a 42-36 lead.

He was benched by Ryan, learned from his mistake and made much better decisions down the stretch. He scored nine consecutive points for UW at one point, finishing the spurt by finishing a drive to provide a 65-50 lead with 3:19 left.

“He’s an extremely mentally strong kid,” Gard said. “He takes a lot of pride in his work. Obviously, when he has some miscues those bother him, and the nice thing about him is he keeps battling through and bounces back and is able to always give us something better the next time in.”

Gard was just happy the Badgers — especially Ryan — didn’t have to stew over another loss on their trip back home late Saturday night.

“It’s a credit to him, obviously fighting through it, but our guys, too, because they knew he was hurting,” Gard said. “We’ll get him better on the bus ride home.”

Jim Polzin covers Wisconsin Badgers men's basketball for the Wisconsin State Journal.

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(12) comments

Acapitalidea
Acapitalidea

Some general comments based upon what's been said: Brust and Gasser could be mvp's almost every game. They are steady and reliable. Hayes has been great and will only get better. Compare his turnovers per minutes played to Jackson's. Yes, Jackson handles the ball more, but he shouldn't. Fans tend to remember the good things Dekker does, but for all his hype, he should be a much better shooter, especially with free throws. He has an exceptional move to the basket and should exploit it more. More free throws would result. This was a good with on the road, but the Badgers won't win many games playing at the level they did last night. Purdue right now is an average team, and there are becoming fewer and fewer of them in the Big10.

jayhoo67
jayhoo67

The Badgers will struggle to finish 12-6 in the conference. 11-7 or 10-8 is more likely. I would like to see some zone as I believe it would help this team. That won't happen under Bo. Gasser should play point with Brust as his running mate. I was sorry to see Marshall leave the program. Not sure he got a fair chance here. Kaminsky has to stay out of foul trouble. Things change too much when he is on the bench. This team appears to have overachieved early on and is now in the process of finding their true identity.

GaryRobbins
GaryRobbins

George Marshall left the team because he saw no minutes in his future. So why are they missing a shorter guard that wasn't good enough to see plenty of game minutes? At 5'11" he was a decent defender (a bit overrated on D, IMO) but not much better at defending than the guards currently playing at UW. And he wasn't as good on offense as the Gs on the roster.
Good luck to him, but the UW hasn't really missed him.
Jarrod Uthoff has decent rebounding numbers, at about 5/game, but is currently a defensive liability. The defensive end is where the UW lost those 3 games. So they may miss him in the future for his O and rebounding, and maybe for his D if it improves, but right now they've only missed him minimally.
The only game that may have turned w/Uthoff in there for the UW may have been the Indiana game. He might have scored a couple more baskets. Maybe.
They may miss him more in the future, but that's why they didn't want him to leave. Oh well, the UW is still doing very well w/Uthoff gone.

Ego Vigilabo Vigilum
Ego Vigilabo Vigilum

This senior & junior class has done something very few Badger Hoops classes have ever done; win twice at Mackey Arena.

I've talked to people that have visited the place as fans. To a one, they describe it as dark, hollow, ominous, unfriendly, and empty of anything worthwhile.

Also without disagreement was what they claimed as the thing they deemed most similar; a chicago bares or minniehahah Vi_Queens trophy case.

GO PACKERS!!

ON WISCONSIN!!

Comment deleted.
Jeff Dubay
Jeff Dubay

????????

w8rh3wk5
w8rh3wk5

A win is a win... Just needed a win there for the team. Now a couple of winnable home games against Northwestern n OSU. Take care of business next week and they should be back in top ten (assuming they fall outside top ten this week bc of Minnesota loss earlier in week)....

badgerfan1
badgerfan1

Good to get any win and they always struggle at Purdue. Having said that, this team is still going to struggle. This game showed again how poor their rebounding is--I know it was even but Purdue is a weak team in the paint, especially without their big center. I think that the Badgers might be better suited with both Hayes and Kaminsky and Dekker in the lineup together more often. Jackson is still a weak link against the better guards and Gasser would be a better point guard. They really miss the 2 that left the team--Uthoff and George Marshall. I am afraid they will continue to struggle against the better more athletic teams (Mich St., Mich, Iowa, Minn., Indiana) and have difficulty finishing in the top 4.

GaryRobbins
GaryRobbins

708 - Hayes didn't have his best game, but he played some excellent defense, and defense was the key to this victory. They're showing him playing defense in this photo.
So yes, I did figure out why he was shown. It's you who still need to figure it out.

Fflambeau
Fflambeau

Purdue isn't Michigan or MSU or even Minny. A poorer quality opponent probably helped UW more than anything else. As for the picture and caption, since the article is talking about how improved defense helped contribute to the win, and since it shows a UW defender blocking a shot, why isn't it appropriate? Latent racism?

matt90210
matt90210

Agree on the opponent helping. Wisky likely would have lost a 4th straight game had they played a better Big 10 team. Purdue just has nobody that can shoot. Hopefully this gets Wisconsin back on track.

Don Schwab
Don Schwab

Get a life Minakwa. ON WISCONSIN

Comment deleted.
Ego Vigilabo Vigilum
Ego Vigilabo Vigilum

Minakwa708;

Who gives a hoot (I've been admonished by the Madison.com powers-that-be to not use veiled vulgarities) who's in the picture? I'll bet none of the players care.

18/19 year-old true freshman Hayes had two big blocks and some good defense on Hammons.

This in a hostile arena where Bucky has won only three times since perhaps prior to his mother's birth.

Huge B1G Ten road win.

ON WISCONSIN!!

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