Taylor has 23, No. 17 Wisconsin tops No. 4 Purdue
The backup point guard committed two turnovers and missed a jumper immediately after Hughes picked up two quick fouls, but he got better in a hurry to help Wisconsin hand Purdue its first loss this season.
Taylor scored a career-high 23 points, Jason Bohannon tied a career high with 20 and No. 17 Wisconsin beat No. 4 Purdue 73-66 Saturday.
Taylor, a sophomore who has provided the Badgers a big lift on offense, went 7 of 11 from the field and 8 of 11 from the free-throw line.
"As much as they pressured us, it's not that difficult to get in the lane, but as well as they help, it's more difficult when you get in the lane to make your decision, make the right decision," Taylor said. "I made some bad decisions at the beginning, but I just tried to keep getting better throughout the game."
Purdue's 14-0 start tied the best in school history, but both the 1993-94 squad led by Glenn Robinson and this year's had their streaks end in Madison.
With former coach Gene Keady watching from behind the bench, Painter's Boilermakers (14-1, 2-1 Big Ten) trailed most of the game.
"It's bothersome," Painter said. "We didn't put ourselves in position to win even though we made it a little bit closer at the end. We simply didn't make it a basketball game until the very end."
E'Twaun Moore had 24 points and Robbie Hummel added 13, but it wasn't nearly enough to overcome the Boilermakers woes from 3-point range (3 of 10) and the free-throw line (13 of 24).
"It's frustrating that we lost. It's not frustrating that we're not 15-0," Hummel said. "This game was frustrating."
Wisconsin (13-3, 3-1) beat a top 10 team in Madison for the second time this season and improved to 130-10 at home in coach Bo Ryan's nine seasons. Purdue had been one of the only teams to give Wisconsin headaches. The Boilermakers had won four straight in the series and an unheard of two in a row in Madison.
"I believe in our guys. They'll go toe-to-toe with anybody, anytime," Ryan said. "We beat a good team, we beat a very good team."
No visitor has ever won three in a row in the nearly 12-year history of the Kohl Center and Wisconsin, which saw its six-game winning streak snapped on Wednesday night in a 54-47 loss to No. 10 Michigan State, took control in the opening minutes of the second half.
"It was very big for us," Bohannon said. "We had a tremendous team coming in here on our home court and we came off a tough loss at East Lansing. It was a big statement for us to come out strong and play well."
Keaton Nankivil followed two of his own misses with offensive rebounds before finally slamming the ball. Hughes and Bohannon added consecutive 3-pointers to give Wisconsin a 42-31 lead with 15:31 left.
"That was a statement that we weren't going to be pushed around in our own home," said Hughes, who finished with 14 points. "It definitely gave us momentum after he did that, and the crowd got right into it. You've got to get the crowd into it when we (are) at home. It's the Kohl Center, baby."
Moments later Taylor found Ryan Evans with an around-the-defender pass for a 12-foot jumper that made it 47-33 with 14:22 left.
"Taylor's the difference in the game," Painter said.
The Boilermakers, who rallied from 16 down in the second half last month at Alabama, couldn't manage a similar escape from Wisconsin.
Moore hit a 3-pointer from the left corner and added another basket with 1:18 left to cut Wisconsin's lead to 63-57. But Taylor added four free throws and Wisconsin hit eight straight from the line that appeared to seal it until Hummel banked in a 3 that cut it to 71-66 with 10 seconds to play.
That was as close as it got.
"Hopefully this will just make us stronger from here," Moore said. "We've been in tough games — today, especially Alabama, things like that. Hopefully, we learn."
Last updated: 12:43 pm Thursday, December 13, 2012