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Boiling Point

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Boilers want to ride momentum from big win

Purdue coach Matt Painter said his team played its best half of the season when the Boilermakers overcame a five-point deficit to upset No. 22 Wisconsin 69-56 Sunday.

"I thought our guys did a very good job on both ends of the court," Painter said during Monday's Big Ten coaches' teleconference. "Hopefully we can use that type of effort as momentum going into our next game."

Purdue (14-15, 7-9 Big Ten) closes the regular season with home games against Michigan (24-5, 11-5) on Wednesday and Minnesota (20-9, 8-8) on Saturday.

Painter said knocking down shots after halftime to take the crowd out of Sunday's game and outrebounding Wisconsin 39-27 were two important keys in the win.

"I think anytime you can consistently make shots on the road, that part really helps your players," Painter said. "It builds confidence, and it quiets the crowd.

"I think for us being able to get extra possessions off the glass, Wisconsin is a big physical team and we were able to outrebound them by 12 rebounds. That was huge for us, getting those extra possessions.

"We were able to chase down some long ones. That really got us in a position to have the basketball and take some time off the clock. Once we got that lead, I thought we did a good job of taking some time off the clock and having some very efficient possessions."

The Purdue women's team (21-8, 10-6) will enter the Big Ten tournament, which runs Thursday to Sunday at Sears Centre Arena in Hoffman Estates, Ill., as the No. 3 seed.

Purdue finished tied for third in the conference with Michigan State, but the Boilermakers received the higher seed because of their 69-66 overtime win over No. 2 seed Nebraska.

Penn State is the top seed in the tournament.

Purdue will face the winner of Thursday's game between sixth-seeded Illinois (16-12, 9-7) and 11th-seeded Wisconsin (11-18, 3-13) in the second game Friday.

The Boilermakers' game is scheduled to start 25 minutes after Nebraska's 11:30 a.m. game against either Iowa or Northwestern.