Wisconsin 69, Purdue 65: Last word

MADISON — Wisconsin has won three straight Big Ten games for the first time this year after holding off Purdue for a 69-65 win Tuesday night at the Kohl Center.

Player of the Game: Aleem Ford

The junior has shown increased aggressiveness since the departure of Kobe King in January and it has led to more production. He was at it again on Tuesday, hunting his shot to the tune of a career-high 19 points. That included hitting 5 of 8 from beyond the arc, which was also a career-high number of 3s. But he also got it done on the glass once again, grabbing seven rebounds. It was his third-straight game with at least seven boards, something he’d never done in his career.

The good: Nate Reuvers in the second half

After being shut out and pushed around in the first half, the Badgers big man delivered in the second. He scored all 12 of his points after the break and went 6-for-6 from the free throw line. He also grabbed six rebounds, blocked a pair of shots and had two assists.

The not so good: The end of game offense

Wisconsin did not make a field goal in the final 5:38 of the game, going 0-for-8. Too often in those final possessions the shot the Badgers got came from D’Mitrik Trice dribbling at the top of the key and taking a contested jumper. Late-game offensive execution, especially when leading, has been an issue at times this year for Wisconsin.

Stat of the Game: 19 of 20

That was Wisconsin’s free throw shooting performance for the game. That included going a perfect 8-for-8 over the final 28 seconds. Brevin Pritzl and Brad Davison alternated hitting free throws with the second of each making it a four-point game. Because of that free throw shooting, the Boilermakers never got a chance to tie or take the lead in the final moments.

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In Case You Missed It

— With the victory, Wisconsin moved into a five-way tie for third place in the Big Ten. The Badgers are also just one-game back of second place Penn State.

— Wisconsin’s throwback uniforms were so popular the first time the Badgers wore them against Ohio State that they brought them back for another game.

— Members of the football team did their annual performance with the UW dance team. Quarterback Graham Mertz and defensive lineman Isaiahh Loudermilk were among those taking part.

— Former Wisconsin forward Marcus Landry was in attendance. He was shown on the video board and received a big ovation.

What’s next?

Wisconsin (16-10, 9-6) will welcome Rutgers (18-8, 9-6) to town on Sunday.