MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Frank Kaminsky scored 21 points and Josh Gasser added 15 as fourth-ranked Wisconsin held off stubborn Purdue 62-55 on Wednesday night.
The Badgers (15-1, 3-0 Big Ten) pulled away from a 45-all tie with a 9-2 run to open a 54-47 lead on Gasser’s free throw with 3:19 left.
Wisconsin, which has won eight straight since an 80-70 loss at home to Duke in early December, maintained a two-possession lead the rest of the way.
The Badgers offset a 43.6 percent shooting night by making 25 of 31 free throws, including 15 in the final 9:11.
Jon Octeus had 15 points and a team-high eight rebounds for Purdue (10-6, 2-1). A.J. Hammons and Isaac Hass added 11 points apiece. The Boilermakers were trying to become the first Big Ten opponent to win four games at the Kohl Center.
Kendall Stephens, who entered as Purdue’s leading scorer at 11 points per game, was limited to 12 minutes by foul trouble.
Wisconsin, which made a season-high 12 3-pointers and shot 52.6 percent from the field in Sunday’s 81-58 rout of Northwestern, struggled with its shooting in the first half. The Badgers went just 9 of 24 for 37.5 percent, including 2 of 11 from beyond the arc.
Wisconsin, however, had a 10-0 advantage in points off turnovers en route to a 28-27 lead at the break.
Purdue: The Boilermakers were looking for their second 3-0 start in Big Ten play under coach Matt Painter.
Wisconsin: Junior forward Sam Dekker became the 17th Badgers player to top the 1,000-point mark for his career when he slammed home a one-handed rebound of Gasser’s missed 3-pointer with 4:55 left in the first half.
SPECIAL GUEST: Former Wisconsin player John Brady, who scored one career point, was recognized on his 92nd birthday during a timeout in the second half. Then-Badgers coach Bud Foster put Brady in against Minnesota in his final game on Feb. 25, 1944, before Brady left to serve in the Navy during World War II.
Purdue hosts Maryland on Saturday.
Wisconsin plays at Rutgers on Sunday.
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