MADISON — There were two clear-cut favorites in the race for the Big Ten Player of the Year when the 2018-19 season began.
While the field of qualified candidates has expanded since then, the original frontrunners finally got to go head-to-head Friday night when the University of Wisconsin men’s basketball team hosted Purdue.
Both players lived up to their preseason All-American status at the Kohl Center, but Carsen Edwards was a little better and so was his team. The junior guard bounced back from a horrid shooting performance three days earlier to finish with 36 points and help the Boilermakers beat the Badgers 84-80 in overtime.
Ethan Happ finished with 31 points and 13 rebounds for Wisconsin (11-5, 3-2 Big Ten), but the senior center’s big game wasn’t enough to prevent a second consecutive loss at home for the Badgers. Sophomore point guard D’Mitrik Trice had 17 points and sophomore guard Brad Davison added 13, but Wisconsin couldn’t overcome its sloppy play.
The Badgers, who entered the game with the second-lowest turnover percentage in the nation, had 17 turnovers in 72 possessions against the Boilers.
Senior guard Ryan Cline had 14 points for Purdue (10-6, 3-2), which had lost six in a row away from home and was 0-4 in true road games this season before Friday.
After going 7 of 31 from 3-point range in a 77-59 loss at Michigan State, Purdue went 11 of 25 from beyond the arc against the Badgers. Edwards and Cline were a combined 10 of 21 from long range.
Edwards, who went 3 of 16 at Michigan State, made 10 of his 26 shots from the floor against Wisconsin and added 10 points from the free throw line.
Happ used a spin move to get around Purdue freshman center Trevion Williams for a layup that gave the Badgers a 79-77 lead with 2:02 remaining in the extra session.
But Wisconsin turned the ball over on its next two possessions and, after a free throw apiece from Edwards and Cline tied it, Grady Eifert made two free throws to give Purdue an 81-79 lead with 38.3 seconds remaining.
Trice drove to the basket but missed a shot that would have tied it and Cline made a free throw to give Purdue a three-point lead.
Purdue fouled Trice, who made one free throw but missed the second attempt. The Badgers fouled Edwards, who made both free throws with 8.1 seconds left to seal the win for Purdue.
Wisconsin led 50-46 after a 3-pointer from Aleem Ford with 13:49 left in regulation, but Purdue answered with 3-pointers on its next three possessions to build a three-point lead. Cline hit the first two 3-pointers in that sequence, while one from Edwards broke a 52-all tie with 11:58 remaining.
Wisconsin was within two after a basket by Happ, but Purdue sophomore center Matt Haarms dunked on the other end and Cline followed with a 3-pointer in transition to give the Boilers a 67-60 lead with 4:52 left.
But the Badgers battled back, starting with a baseline jumper by senior swingman Khalil Iverson and a basket by Happ over Haarms. A 3-pointer by Davison completed the 7-0 run and tied the game at 67 with 2:33 left.
But Edwards went to work from there. He helped the Boilers regain the lead with two free throws and, two possessions later, made a deep 3 over Happ to give Purdue a 72-68 lead with 45.7 seconds left.
Trice banked in a 3-pointer with 22.6 seconds left and, after Edwards made two free throws to extend the Boilers’ lead to 74-71, Trice dribbled to the right wing and buried a 3-pointer to tie it.
Edwards airballed a deep — and forced — 3-pointer and Wisconsin got the ball back with 3.2 seconds left. But a wild shot by Trice didn’t come close to going in as the buzzer sounded.
Happ had 18 points, eight rebounds and three assists by halftime, but Edwards’ 14 points helped the Boilers take a 37-36 lead into the break.
Purdue led 27-16 after Haarms scored with 8:15 left until halftime.
But Haarms was whistled for a technical foul on the next trip down the floor, his second personal, and he went to the bench.
Trice made a 3-pointer to start a 16-1 run that included scoring from five players. But after a basket by Happ gave the Badgers a 32-28 lead with 2:44 left, Purdue answered with a 9-2 run to get back in front.