Badgers lose first conference game under interim coach Greg Gard, falling to Purdue 61-55

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MADISON — A.J. Hammons scored 24 points, Dakota Mathias hit two 3s in the final 1:19 and No. 14 Purdue held on for a 61-55 victory over Wisconsin on Tuesday night, December 29th.

The Boilermakers (13-1, 1-0 Big Ten) snapped a four-game losing streak to the Badgers (8-6, 0-1), who lost their first conference game under interim coach Greg Gard.

But Purdue needed the two late 3s by Mathias after Wisconsin had narrowed an 11-point deficit to 52-49 with 1:40 left on a short jumper by Alex Illikainen.

Purdue opened its 11-point lead gradually behind the 7-foot Hammons. He was 9 of 14 from the field and grabbed seven rebounds.

Mathias finished with six points.

Nigel Hayes led Wisconsin with 17 points on 6-of-14 shooting. But Wisconsin shot just 39 percent for the night.

Purdue had a sloppy start with 10 first-half turnovers. Hammons, a senior, took charge late with 15 second-half points.