National Basketball Association
Purdue 91, Wisconsin 80
When: 7:30 PM ET, Sunday, March 6, 2016
Where: Mackey Arena, West Lafayette, Indiana
# Mike Eades, # Steve McJunkins, # Terry Wymer
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -- Freshman Caleb Swanigan and sophomore P.J. Thompson entered No. 15 Purdue's Senior Day game against Wisconsin averaging a combined 15.2 points.
For outgoing seniors A.J. Hammons, Rapheal Davis, Johnny Hill and Stephen Toyra, Swanigan and Thompson each picked the perfect game to record a career best.
Swanigan and Thompson combined for 49 points, and Purdue pulled away from Wisconsin in the second half for a 91-80 victory.
Swanigan scored a career-best 27 points, 23 during the second half, and Thompson added a career-best 22, 15 during the first half on five 3-pointers.
"As leaders, it was great for us to see Caleb and P.J. really step up and play in the moment," said Davis, the 2015 Big Ten defensive player of the year. "We saw both of them really grow up tonight. I won't be here next year, but with what is coming back, this is going to be a really good team."
Hammons, who added 16 points and eight rebounds in his final game in Mackey Arena, said Thompson's six 3-pointers were the game's key.
"When he hit those clutch shots, it really opened things up inside for (Swanigan) and I," Hammons said,
With the victory, Purdue (24-7, 12-6) forced a four-way tie for third place in the Big Ten with Maryland, Iowa and Wisconsin and earns the No. 4 seed in the Big Ten tournament, which begins Wednesday in Indianapolis.
Wisconsin (20-11, 12-6), which got a game-best 30 points from Nigel Hayes, earns the No. 6 seed. The Badgers had a four-game winning streak snapped.
Sophomore Vince Edwards scored 11 for Purdue, which shot 62.2 percent (28 of 45).
A Thompson 3-pointer with one second left in the first half -- Purdue's eighth made trey -- gave the Boilermakers a 45-39 lead through 20 minutes. Wisconsin made 16 of 28 first-half shots, yet was outscored 24-10 in the final 7:26. Hayes had 12 first-half points for the Badgers.
"They were helping inside on our big men, and when the shots were open, I just took them," Thompson said, "When their point guard went to double, I got open looks and just knocked them down."
Purdue coach Matt Painter was pleased with Thompson's 3-point shooting, but he really enjoyed Swanigan's 23-point second half.
"P.J.'s clutch shots kept us in the game in the first half and gave us a lead, but then in the second half, Swanigan was being aggressive," Painter said. "He has such good court vision, and when he keeps it simple, like he did tonight, he is really good."
The Boilermakers were 17 of 27 from the field (63 percent) before halftime.
Wisconsin made six of its first eight field-goal attempts, including three baskets from Ethan Happ, to lead 14-12 with 13:34 remaining. Hammons scored seven of Purdue's first 12.
"We knew we were playing a good team that is playing really well right now," Wisconsin coach Greg Gard said. "We didn't finish around the rim, and at the other end, it was really tough for us when Thompson made all of those 3s. Swanigan is a really good player, so it becomes tough to guard Hammons, Isaac Haas and Swanigan at the same time. For a while there, I thought that maybe the first team to play defense might win this game."
The Badgers had increased their first-half lead to 29-21 on a Vitto Brown 3-pointer with 7:43 on the clock, their 12th made field goal in 18 attempts, including five 3-pointers.
Thompson made consecutive 3-pointers in a 31-second span to give Purdue a 32-31 lead with 5:12 remaining in the half. A Hammons basket gave the Boilermakers a 34-31 lead, but Brown's 3-pointer at the 4:13 mark tied it at 34.
NOTES: A Jan. 12 loss at Northwestern left Wisconsin with a 9-9 record, including 1-4 in the Big Ten. The Badgers came to Purdue 11-1 since then ... During the past five seasons, Wisconsin is 137-5 when leading or tied with five minutes remaining ... Badgers F Nigel Hayes entered the game 18th on Wisconsin's all-time scoring list with 1,271 points ... Purdue is 23-1 in its 24 most recent home games ... The Boilermakers' non-starters outscored the opponent's bench 28 times in the first 30 games ... Purdue has the Big Ten's top two scorers in points per 40 minutes in C Isaac Haas (26.8) and C A.J. Hammons (24.7) ... With an average of plus-11 rebounds per game, Purdue ranks second in the nation.
Top Game Performances
Nigel Hayes 30
Caleb Swanigan 27
Bronson Koenig 4
Vince Edwards 6
Nigel Hayes 8
A.J. Hammons 8
Nigel Hayes 11
||Free Throws Made
Caleb Swanigan 14
Ethan Happ 2
Vince Edwards 1
Khalil Iverson 1
A.J. Hammons 2
Team Stats Summary