Purdue loses again, falls 76-70 to No. 9 Wisconsin

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MADISON, Wis. (AP) - To Purdue coach Matt Painter, the best way to beat the Wisconsin Badgers is to be just like them.

Frank Kaminsky and the rest of coach Bo Ryan’s team gave the Boilermakers a firsthand lesson.

Kaminsky scored 22 points and hit 4 of 5 from 3-point range to lead the ninth-ranked Badgers’ 76-70 victory Wednesday night.

Unfortunately for Painter, the Boilermakers (15-15, 5-12 Big Ten), who were led by Ronnie Johnson’s 15 points and six assists, looked more like themselves this season than anything else.

“I’ve always felt to beat a Bo Ryan-team in Wisconsin you have to play like them. You have to beat them at their own game,” Painter said.

That means being patient on offense and playing solid on the other end of the court.

But the Boilermakers had no answer for Kaminsky, a 7-footer who can shoot from the perimeter. The Badgers (25-5, 12-5) won their eighth straight thanks in large part to shooting 48 percent from the field in the first half.

Purdue center A.J. Hammons had 11 points and 11 rebounds, but was otherwise roughed up defensively by Kaminsky.

“That’s the hardest cover for our big guy, for Hammons,” Painter said. “That’s a tough deal. He does a good job of picking his spots.”

The Boilermakers lost their fifth straight and fell into sole possession of last place in the conference. They lost a third consecutive game to a ranked opponent after falling to No. 12 Michigan last week and No. 24 Iowa on Sunday.

The Badgers had a 16-point lead whittled to seven with 5 minutes left but were otherwise in firm control. Johnson’s transition layup got the Boilermakers within 58-51 before Sam Dekker converted a three-point play about 30 seconds later to revitalize the Badgers.

Wisconsin could have made it slightly easier by hitting a few more free throws in the second half, when they went 20 of 27 from the line. Kendall Stephens of Purdue hit a 3 from the corner just before time expired for the final margin.

“The score was a little misrepresentative of the game,” Badgers guard Traevon Jackson said. “I thought we did a good job the entire game keeping control of it.”

There was no repeat of last season’s final game at the Kohl Center, which was spoiled by the Boilermakers with a 69-56 victory. On Wednesday night, guard Ben Brust went home happy after his senior ceremony.

The sharpshooter gave fans one last memorable 3 after hitting straightaway from about 23 feet in front of the “Grateful Red” student section. He finished 3 of 11 from the field for nine points and 1 of 5 from long range.

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