Purdue Loses Third Straight
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Carsen Edwards scored 23 points, but it wasn't enough as Wisconsin held off No. 6 Purdue 57-53 at the Kohl Center.
On a night when Wisconsin honored Frank Kaminsky, one of the best players in program history, Happ led the current crop of Badgers to their biggest win of a challenging season.
Happ finished with 21 points and 12 rebounds after the school retired Kaminsky's jersey, and Wisconsin beat No. 6 Purdue 57-53 on Thursday to hand the Boilermakers their third straight loss.
Carsen Edwards, who finished with 22 points, missed a 3 with 12 seconds left to end Purdue's comeback hopes. Wisconsin's Brevin Pritzl went 3 of 4 from the foul line over the final 19 seconds to seal a win so big in Madison that fans rushed the court after the final buzzer - including Kaminsky.
It felt like 2015 again, when Kaminsky led the Badgers to the national championship game as a senior.
''You want to say `thanks' to Frank and `thanks' to all the alumni? The best way to show your respect ... go out and play really well,'' coach Greg Gard said.
Happ didn't play that season as a redshirt, but he did practice against Kaminsky every day. Those afternoons trading elbows in the paint and learning moves from Kaminsky have paid off - to the point where Happ passed his role model for 11th place on the school's career scoring list on Thursday.
''It's funny how life works sometimes, to have this be the game with Frank, who taught me so much,'' Happ said. ''It's very special to do that.''
The Boilermakers had seemingly overcome early offensive hiccups after a 10-0 run gave them a 39-32 lead with 9:37 left when Wisconsin (12-16, 5-10 Big Ten) answered with aggressive play sparked by freshman guard Brad Davison (16 points).
It was a debilitating loss for Purdue's chances of winning the league. The Boilermakers (23-5, 12-3) are struggling with the conference tournament just a couple weeks away.
''We're a team that has to have good balance in our jump-shooting, coming off screens,'' coach Matt Painter said. ''It was one of those games where things weren't going your way. You had to grind it out.''
A choppy first half ended with a 21-all tie after the teams combined to miss 37 shots.
Purdue shot 39 percent (19 of 48) on the night, but 23 percent (4 of 17) from the 3-point line. They were just 1 of 7 from the arc in the second half.
Painter said the misses seemed to affect his team's play in other areas.
''We got stops and then we didn't get the rebound and they got second-chance points, and they scored off turnovers in the first half - that's the frustrating part,'' Edwards said.
Purdue looks to get back on track against Penn State on Sunday.