Nigel played 38 minutes and scored 30 points on 50% shooting from the field, but it wasn’t enough as the Badgers dropped their final regular season game last night at Purdue. Hayes also had 8 rebounds and 3 assists in the loss. Ethan Happ pitched in 14 and 6 boards, and Showy had 13 on 3-7 shooting from 3. Jordan Hill was the only reserve who gave a significant contribution off the bench, scoring 6 points in 17 minutes. No other bench players scored or played more than 7 minutes.
The Badgers had a lot of trouble defending Matt Painter’s team down low, starting from the very first possession when AJ Hammons threw down a big dunk. He and freshman Caleb Swanigan combined for 43 on 13-17 shooting from the field, and Swanigan also went 14-17 from the line. Wisconsin shot just 20 free throws as a team on the night. PJ Thompson also had 22, 18 of which came from 3.
This was a tough matchup for the Badgers because Purdue has true big men who were able to score down low, and they also hit shots from outside when they were there. They scored 91, and we haven’t even played a regulation game in the 80s since Christmas Eve against UWGB. On top of that, Mackey Arena has always been a tough place to play, and our 4-game winning streak came to what seemed like an inevitable end. Now we sit as the 6 seed going into the Big Ten Tournament, waiting for the winner of Nebraska and Rutgers. If Greg Gard & Co. can take care of business in that one, it’ll be another matchup with Maryland on Friday in the quarterfinal.