|Surging No. 23 Purdue hosts slumping No. 25 Wisconsin|
For the rest of this season, No. 23 Purdue has the luxury of knowing it won't have to leave its home state for games.
Not only are the Big Ten and NCAA tournaments being played in Indiana, but the final two games of the regular season for the Boilermakers will be at home, starting Tuesday night when No. 25 Wisconsin visits West Lafayette.
"It's a great feeling," Purdue coach Matt Painter said. "We still have to go out there and win them."
Purdue (16-8, 11-6 Big Ten) has done a lot of winning lately, earning victories in three straight games and four of the past five.
Their latest victory came on Friday when the Boilermakers went to Penn State and came away with an impressive 73-52 victory.
"I thought our guys played well," Painter said. "I thought we were ready to play. Sometimes you are ready to play, but the ball doesn't go in. We were able to make some plays and it was great to see."
Since starting conference play 2-3, Purdue has gone 9-3 since against league opponents.
Trevion Williams is leading the way, averaging 15.8 points and 9.0 rebounds per game. Sasha Stefanovic averages 10.0 points and is shooting 42.3 percent from 3-point range.
Purdue is 9-1 at home this season, with the only defeat coming to Michigan on Jan. 22.
The next challenge for the Boilermakers will be Wisconsin (16-9, 10-8), which has lost three of its last four and is coming off a 74-69 loss at home to No. 5 Illinois on Saturday, even though the Fighting Illini were playing without star guard Ayo Dosunmu.
Wisconsin is 5-4 on the road.
The Badgers feature one of the conference's top point guards in D'Mitrik Trice, who is averaging 14.1 points per game and nearly single-handedly led Wisconsin to a comeback win over Illinois.
Trice scored the final 19 points of the game for Wisconsin, including 11 points in the final 53 seconds to help pull the Badgers within one point after they trailed by 13 with 2:50 left.
"It shows you the kind of team (we can be) when we shoot the ball well, or at least, when one person shoots the ball well," Wisconsin forward Micah Potter said to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. "That is the kind of team we can be. That is the kind of effort we need from the jump."
Behind Trice, Potter is the only other player for Wisconsin averaging in double figures in scoring at 12.5 points per game.
This is the only regular-season meeting of the season between the teams.
--Field Level Media