By SCOTT BAUER
Associated Press Writer
MADISON, Wis. -- Bo Ryan's Wisconsin Badgers are entering uncharted territory.
The team's four-game losing streak is tied with the most under Ryan's eight-year tenure as head coach. It's also the longest losing streak in the regular season since 1998 when the Badgers lost eight in a row under then-head coach Dick Bennett.
Wisconsin will try to break out of the funk on Tuesday against No. 16 Purdue, which comes to Madison with a 15-4 overall record and 4-2 in conference play. The Boilermakers started Wisconsin (12-7, 3-4) on its current losing streak, beating the Badgers in West Lafayette, Ind., on Jan. 11. Since then Wisconsin has also lost at home to Minnesota and on the road against Iowa and No. 19 Illinois.
Ryan, at his weekly news conference Monday, didn't show any panic about the current losing streak or his team's poor shooting. In the four losses the team's shooting percentage has averaged just .397 from the field. Ryan said he's never tried to magnify how a team's playing based on statistics.
"You've just got to get good looks, you've got to knock them down, you've got to play with that confidence and there's no other way of shooting," Ryan said. "We could get hot here."
Ryan offered a little self-critique, saying his team needs to play better with the lead and be more consistent.
"If somebody had a formula for the first 10 minutes I'm sure they'd be selling it," Ryan said when asked about the Badgers' slow start against Purdue in the game two weeks ago. "And someone would be buying it. But I haven't seen it yet."
The last time the Badgers lost four in a row under Ryan was when they dropped their final two home games in the 2005-2006 season, the Big Ten tournament opener against Indiana and the first-round NCAA tournament game against Arizona.
The current four-game losing streak is even more glaring given that Wisconsin lost only five games all season last year and just six the year before that.
Only one of the four losses in this current streak, against Minnesota on Jan. 15, has come at home. Wisconsin has never lost back-to-back home games since Ryan took over as coach in 2001.