It’s been 12 years since Wisconsin last lost to Purdue at home.
With first place in the Big Ten on the line, the No. 8 Badgers hope to extend the 24th-ranked Boilermakers frustration in Madison when they meet for the second time this season on Saturday.
Wisconsin (19-3, 9-1) and Purdue (18-5, 9-1) are tied atop the Big Ten, with No. 14 Indiana sitting one-half game back with an 8-1 record in conference play. Wisconsin visits the Hoosiers on Wednesday.
With so much on the line, the Badgers hope they can continue their recent success in Madison over the Boilermakers. Wisconsin has won eight straight at home over Purdue since the Boilermakers last won there on Feb. 7, 1996. Those eight victories have come by an average of 14.4 points.
Purdue, however, is the only Big Ten team to defeat the Badgers this season, winning 60-56 at home on Jan. 26. Freshman guard E’Twaun Moore scored 16 points in that contest as the Boilermakers ended Wisconsin’s 10-game winning streak.
Moore and Purdue expect to have a much harder time in Madison, however, where Wisconsin is 51-2 in conference play under coach Bo Ryan.
The Badgers have won three straight since the loss to Purdue, and are coming off back-to-back road victories - 63-47 over Minnesota last Sunday and 60-54 over Iowa on Wednesday.
Marcus Landry led the Badgers with 16 points and six rebounds, Brian Butch added 12 points and Wisconsin held the Hawkeyes to 35.4 percent shooting from the field.
“We knew it was going to be a tough game,” Landry said. “It’s all about executing and making them hit the tough ones. I’m really proud of everyone on the team, because we stuck this one out. We ground it out and we got the win.”
The Badgers have the stingiest defense in the country, allowing 54.1 points per game. Their opponents are also shooting just 37.9 percent from the field.
Purdue, meanwhile, has won eight straight since losing 78-75 at then-No. 6 Michigan State on Jan. 8, including a 67-53 victory over Penn State on Tuesday.
Robbie Hummel scored 17 points and had six rebounds while Moore added 16 points. Moore, who leads the Boilermakers with 11.2 points per game, was coming off a career-high 24-point performance in an 83-75 win over Illinois last Saturday.
Moore was 4-of-6 from the field Tuesday and also had four assists and two steals.
“He’s been very efficient lately,” coach Matt Painter said. “It’s not just scoring the ball, it’s taking care of the basketball, getting assists, not having too many turnovers. He’s picking his spots.”
The Boilermakers improved on their best conference start since 1989-90, when they opened 9-1 before finishing 13-5 in league play. The last team to begin 10-1 was the 1987-88 squad, which ended up winning the Big Ten regular season title.
“We have beaten some tough teams,” Painter said. “I’m proud of our staff and players, and we’re going to stay the course. It’s not a 10-game conference season. We have a lot of basketball left to play.”
The Boilermakers are 1-25 in road games against ranked teams since Jan. 29, 2000. They have lost 15 straight on the road to Top 25 squads, beginning with an 82-46 defeat to then-No. 22 Wisconsin on Feb. 29, 2004.