Ethan Happ and the Wisconsin Badgers finally closed out a tight game. Against No. 2 Michigan, too.
Happ had 26 points and 10 rebounds as Wisconsin handed the Wolverines their first loss of the season, breaking away in the final minute for a 64-54 victory Saturday in Madison, Wis.
The victory came after Wisconsin (12-6, 4-3 Big Ten) dropped back-to-back games that came down to the stretch.
"This group's mentality, even with the struggles we've had, has always been a fighter's mentality," Badgers coach Greg Gard said.
Wisconsin briefly took the lead Monday night over Maryland after trailing by as many as 21 points in the second half on the road, only to see the game slip away in the final seconds. Likewise, the Badgers took Purdue to overtime Jan. 11 at home before struggling down the stretch with turnovers.
But against Michigan (17-1, 6-1), it all came together for them. The Wolverines closed within 57-54 on Isaiah Livers' three-pointer with just under a minute to play. Michigan put on a full-court press that the Badgers broke, and Ignas Brazdeikis was whistled for a flagrant foul on Happ, who was across the court from the ball.
Happ, shooting 49 percent from the line coming in, made one of two and on the ensuing Wisconsin possession. Happ put back his own miss for a 60-54 lead, then hit a streaking Nate Reuvers following a Michigan turnover for a dunk that sealed it.
Beilein said he wasn't given an explanation on the flagrant foul and seemed mystified by the call. Beilein said he told the referees Michigan was going to foul.
"I've got to be schooled up on that," Beilein said. "Apparently it's something new to me that I have to be educated on."
Along with Happ's scoring and rebounding, he did the little things well, teammate Brad Davison said.
"It's our All-American," Davison said. "I don't know how many All-Americans dive on the floor for loose balls. But ours does."
Jon Teske led Michigan with 15 points.
Purdue 70, No. 25 Indiana 55: Nojel Eastern delivered at both ends of the court, for Purdue, recording a double-double and stopping Indiana star freshman guard Romeo Langford in a victory in West Lafayette, Ind. Carsen Edwards scored 20 points as the Boilermakers (12-6, 5-2) beat their in-state rivals for the fourth straight time.
Eastern (10 points, 10 rebounds) posted his first career double-double. He also helped limit Langford to four points on 2-for-10 shooting as Indiana (12-6, 4-3) lost its fourth in a row. Langford committed three turnovers and missed all four of his free throws.