No. 6 Wisconsin falls at home to No. 2 Purdue

MADISON — Wisconsin moved into the top-10 in the country last Monday. The sixth-ranked Badgers (16-6, 8-3) won’t be there when the national rankings come out this week. Not after dropping back-to-back games for the first time since the middle of November with a 75-69 loss to No. 2 Purdue (21-2, 10-2) on Sunday.

Coach Greg Gard’s club jumped out to an early lead but the Boilermakers went ahead 18-17 with a Braden Smith jumper at the 9:53 mark of the first half and never trailed again. Wisconsin made a late run, as a pair of Tyler Wahl buckets got it to within 59-57 with 4:46 left in the game. However, the Boilermakers got buckets on their next two possessions — both of them off of offensive rebounds — to push the lead back out and the Badgers never got closer than five the rest of the way.

Wahl led Wisconsin with 20 points, seven rebounds, five assists, three steals and two blocks. AJ Storr had 14 points, but it took him 15 shots to get it. He went 0-for-4 from 3-point range and the Badgers were 3-for-19 on the game. That included 0-for-11 after halftime.

Steven Crowl had eight points and five rebounds, but foul trouble kept him from impacting the game further. Max Klesmit had 10 points, all of them in the first half. Chucky Hepburn finished with six points on 1-for-6 shooting and five assists.

Purdue got a team-high 20 points from Lance Jones, while Braden Smith had 19 points and five rebounds. Reigning National Player of the Year Zach Edey had 18 points and 13 rebounds, including six on the offensive end. As a team, the Boilermakers had 14 offensive rebounds and turned those into 21 points.

The loss to Purdue stings a little extra for Wisconsin, which blew an 18-point lead at Nebraska on Thursday. It means the Badgers went from first place at 8-1 in Big Ten play to 8-3 and just a 1/2 game up on Illinois for second.

Wisconsin will now hit the road Wednesday to face last-place Michigan.