more than zach edey no 2 purdue edges 6th ranked wisconsin in battle for big ten supremacy

More than Zach Edey: No. 2 Purdue edges 6th-ranked Wisconsin in battle for Big Ten supremacy


Purdue's Zach Edey (15) battles between Wisconsin's Steven Crowl (22) and AJ Storr, right, during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Sunday, Feb. 4, 2024, in Madison, Wis. (AP Photo/Andy Manis)

Zach Edey caused plenty of Wisconsin headaches on Sunday.

He wasn’t alone. Braden Smith and Lance Jones gave the Badgers all they could handle as No. 2 Purdue edged 6th-ranked Wisconsin, 75-69 in Madison in a battle for the top of the Big Ten standings.

The loss was a second straight for Wisconsin after an upset to unranked Nebraska on Thursday. Purdue notched its seventh straight win following its own loss to the Huskers in January to improve to 21-2 and maintain control of the Big Ten with a 10-2 conference record. Wisconsin fell to 16-6 and 8-3 in conference play.

It was a balanced effort from Purdue that saw Edey, Smith, Jones and Fletcher Loyer all score in double figures. Wisconsin regularly focused its defensive efforts on Edey, the 7-4 All-American and favorite to win National Player of the Year honors. He repeatedly met double- and sometimes triple-teams when the Boilermakers threw the ball to him in the post.

When the shot wasn’t there for Edey, his teammates were ready to take advantage of the attention on their towering teammate. And when they missed, the Boilermakers cleaned up the glass in a dominant effort on the glass.

Wisconsin kept pace for much of the game and cut Purdue’s lead to 59-57 in the final five minutes. But it never led in the second half after going into halftime with a 34-32 deficit. The Badgers implemented relentless full-court pressure in the game’s final minute in an effort mount a rally. But Purdue withstood the onslaught to hold on for victory.

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