Johnson leads No. 11 Purdue past No. 10 Wisconsin
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (AP)—Lewis Jackson has had few blemishes during his breakout junior season. He made up for one of them Wednesday night.
In the rematch, he shot 6 for 9 from the field, did not commit a turnover and was solid in his matchup with Wisconsin star Jordan Taylor.
Purdue’s players and coaches made their expectations of Jackson clear.
“They just told me earlier today I had to be special, whether that was getting a lot of assists, shutting down Jordan Taylor or scoring the ball,” he said.
JaJuan Johnson had 20 points, 10 rebounds and four blocks, and E’Twaun Moore scored 19 points. But it was Jackson who provided that ever important third weapon for the Boilermakers. He led an efficient Purdue offense that committed just five turnovers.
“I thought the difference was our decision making, and we really just tried to pound that in their heads—`We have to give ourselves a chance by taking care of the basketball,”’ Purdue coach Matt Painter said.
Purdue (21-5, 10-3 Big Ten) moved into sole possession of second place in the conference. The Boilermakers, now 14-0 at home, host league leader Ohio State on Sunday.
Jon Leuer scored 23 points and Taylor added 15 for the Badgers (19-6, 9-4), who had won four straight—including a victory over then-No. 1 Ohio State at home on Saturday.
Wisconsin coach Bo Ryan dismissed the notion that the Badgers might not have had enough left after the high of beating the nation’s top-ranked team.
“Was that Saturday?” he said, sarcastically. “Was that last week? It never even came up. It’s not like we haven’t beaten people before.”
Leuer and Taylor combined to shoot 16 for 27 from the field, but the rest of the Badgers were 8 for 32. Wisconsin shot 3 for 19 from 3-point range.
“If you can’t hit some of those wide-open 3s we got, it’s going to be a long night,” Ryan said.
Wisconsin still had a chance to win. A pair of free throws by Ryan Evans cut Purdue’s lead to 58-56 with 3:55 to play.
“I thought when we cut into the lead, we had them on their heels a little bit,” Ryan said. “I thought we might get to 60 before they did.”
Moore stopped the rally with a floater, then a 3-pointer that pushed Purdue’s lead back to 63-56 with just more than 2 minutes left.
Wisconsin led 10-4 before Purdue responded with a 14-4 run. Moore gave Purdue its first lead with a 3-pointer after Jackson flipped the ball back to him on a fast break.
Leuer picked up his second foul with 7:42 left in the first half, and Wisconsin didn’t make a field goal for nearly 4 1/2 minutes. A layup and 3-pointer by Jackson helped Purdue push its lead to 29-22, and the Boilermakers led 31-25 at halftime.
Early in the second half, Jackson got a steal and started a fast break. Moore took off from the side, cocked the ball behind his head with his right hand and slammed it home to give Purdue a 35-27 lead and send the crowd into a frenzy.
Purdue took off on another fast break, and Kelsey Barlow scored and was fouled. He converted the free throw to give the Boilermakers a 44-34 lead.
Leuer kept Wisconsin in the game. He scored seven points during a 9-2 run that trimmed Purdue’s lead to 53-47, but the Badgers never took the lead.
Jackson, who scored 13 points in the second half, made three of four free throws in the final 43 seconds.
“It all kind of came together tonight,” he said.