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Wisconsin Basketball Falls to No. 2 Purdue 75-69: Takeaways and Notes

The Wisconsin basketball program has now lost two straight.



Wisconsin Badgers basketball
Feb 4, 2024; Madison, Wisconsin, USA; Wisconsin Badgers guard Chucky Hepburn (23) dribbles the ball against Purdue Boilermakers guard Braden Smith (3) during the first half at the Kohl Center. Mandatory Credit: Kayla Wolf-USA TODAY Sports

Greg Gard and the Wisconsin Badgers basketball program lost their second straight game on Sunday afternoon, falling 75-69 to Purdue.

Though UW was able to bring themselves within striking distance multiple times, they were unable to get over the hump. With the loss, the Badgers are now second in the Big Ten.

Here are some of my takeaways and notes from Sunday’s loss to the Boilermakers. 

Tyler Wahl Kept Wisconsin Basketball in it, But it Wasn’t Enough

In a game where the usual offensive spark plugs, Max Klesmit and AJ Storr, struggled, veteran forward Tyler Wahl was one of Wisconsin’s most impactful players. 

Wahl finished Sunday’s contest with 20 points, seven rebounds, five assists, three steals, and two blocks. Six of his seven rebounds were on the offensive glass, an area where UW was beaten 14-10. Wahl made his bread in the paint, hitting 10 of 15 shots down low — marking his career high in made attempts — with some coming directly against Zach Edey.

“His offense was better than our defense on some of those plays,” Purdue head coach Matt Painter said postgame. “He does a good job of working the baseline and getting those angles.”

Wahl’s heroics weren’t enough to bring Wisconsin past the Boilermakers, but it’s a testament to how this team is constructed. Even if the best offensive players are out of their groove, someone else can step up, and Wahl was the one who brought the spark. 

Rebounding a Big Factor in the Wisconsin Basketball Loss

One of the biggest, if not the biggest, reasons Wisconsin fell to Purdue was losing the rebounding battle. As mentioned, UW was outrebounded 14-10 on the offensive glass, but they were also beaten 42-29 overall. 

“They got a bunch of offensive rebounds and it ended up leading to points, fouls, a whole lot of bad things. We didn’t match the physicality as much as we needed to today,” Tyler Wahl said during postgame media availability.

The Boilermakers were able to capitalize on second-chance opportunities often, beating the Badgers 21-14 in second-chance points. 

Of course, Purdue has 7-foot-4 Zach Edey, so they have a big advantage on the glass, but quite a few of Purdue’s second-chance opportunities came off rebounds that were within a Badger’s player reach. There’s no reason to panic about the rebounding at this point, but it was a big reason UW lost its second straight game. 

Shot Selection Was Questionable at Moments for Wisconsin Basketball

Wisconsin struggled mightily from beyond the arc, hitting just 3-of-19 attempts overall with zero three-point makes in the second half.

“When we’re heat-checking and we haven’t had any heat, we shouldn’t be heat-checking,” Gard said. 

AJ Storr struggled in Sunday’s contest, going 4-15 from the field and missing all four 3-point attempts. Shot selection played a big role in that, with one contested three in there. He was pulled later in the game after attempting a contested jumper in favor of Connor Essegian.

Against a team as strong as Purdue, you can’t make the shot choices Wisconsin did. 

Notes/Final Thoughts

Nolan Winter provided some solid minutes for Greg Gard and the Badgers on Sunday. While his youth did show at times, the true freshman held his own against Zach Edey, even logging a steal from Purdue’s star. While Winter struggled offensively, he did log three rebounds and a steal on the night while putting out some solid tape. 


Wisconsin started off the game strong against Edey, holding him to just five points in the first half, but the 7-foot-4 big man notched 13 second-half points. UW’s defense just wasn’t strong enough.


Connor Essegian provided a bit of a spark off the bench, notching six points, one rebound, and an assist, finishing with a +/- of 4. 


The Wisconsin Badgers didn’t have an answer for Lance Jones, who tied Tyler Wahl for the highest scorer with 20 points and led all three-point shooters with three makes from beyond the arc.

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Jake Maier is the managing editor and publisher at He has provided coaching and editorial support to numerous writers in his role, contributing significantly to the platform's growth. His expertise extends to Wisconsin Badgers football, basketball, and recruiting coverage. Jake's previous bylines can be found at Fansided and Wisconsin Sports Heroics.