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Updated: Sunday, February 29, 2004 5:47 PM EST
NCAA BASKETBALL RECAP
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(15) Wisconsin 82, Purdue 46

MADISON, Wisconsin (Ticker) -- Devin Harris came alive in the second half to keep Wisconsin in contention for the Big Ten Conference title.

Harris scored 14 of his 16 points in the second half and Mike Wilkinson had 23 and career high-tying 12 rebounds as the 15th-ranked Badgers stretched their home winning streak to 28 games with an 82-46 thrashing of Purdue.

Averaging 19.2 points per game, Harris managed only two on 1-of-6 shooting as Wisconsin only led by 29-21 at halftime. But he was 5-of-6 from the field, including 2-of-2 from 3-point range, in the second half, when the Badgers outscored the Boilermakers, 53-25, and moved within 1 1/2 games of first-place Michigan State.

"Harris had only two points, so I did not think he was going to let up," Purdue coach Gene Keady said. "He is going to come back and stick it up your fanny and get you. You have to be ready to play."

The Badgers improved to 24-0 in Big Ten home games under coach Bo Ryan and completed their first undefeated home campaign since 1929-30.

David Teague led Purdue with 12 points. The Boilermakers (17-10, 7-7 Big Ten) have lost six of their last nine games, making their grip on a NCAA Tournament berth tenuous after it appeared secure a month ago.

Wisconsin won its sixth straight home game against Purdue by dominating inside and limiting its turnovers. The Badgers, who shot over 52 percent, outrebounded the Boilermakers, 38-19, and outscored them in the paint, 34-16. In addition, Wisconsin got 25 points from its bench, compared to Purdue's 15 points from its reserves.

"That is quite an advantage on the boards and I thought that our guys were extremely aggressive," Ryan said. "They were very good at moving their feet and getting into position to limit them to very few offensive rebounds."

The 36-point win was Wisconsin's largest margin of victory ever in its series vs. Purdue. It never trailed in the contest.


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