Indiana beats No. 3 Wisconsin 75-72
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (AP) — Wisconsin coach Bo Ryan kept imploring his team to play defense Tuesday night.
The third-ranked Badgers never really got a chance. After giving up 52 points in the paint and forcing just nine turnovers at Indiana, the unbeaten record is gone.
Kevin “Yogi” Ferrell scored 25 points and Stanford Robinson added a career-best 13 to help the Hoosiers overcome a 10-point second-half deficit and stun Wisconsin 75-72.
“I think our guys were worrying about fouls. The way it was being called, our guys became so tentative,” Ryan said. “It really surprised me that our guys were not playing the way we normally play.”
So the Badgers tried to win another way — outscoring the Hoosiers.
Wisconsin shot 53.3 percent from the field, made seven 3s and all five starters reached double figures. Traveon Jackson led the Badgers with a career-best 21 points, 16 coming in a second half where it seemed he would will the Badgers (16-1, 3-1 Big Ten) to another victory. They did get two shots in the closing seconds to force overtime but both were off the mark and Robinson grabbed the rebound to preserve the win.
The problem: Indiana (12-5, 2-2) kept driving into the paint, and the Badgers didn’t have an answer.
“We didn’t really do a good job stopping the ball, including me,” Jackson said. “We didn’t have really that good of help defense and I think the fouls played into that as well, not really trying to contest as we wanted to contest and they took advantage of it.”
For Indiana, it was a marked contrast to what had been a one-sided series for the past 12 years.
Wisconsin entered the night as one of Division I’s last four unbeaten teams and was trying to become the first team to ever win 13 straight over Indiana.
The tale of the tape appeared to be stacked against the Hoosiers, too.
Somehow, though, Indiana responded with its best performance of the season — digging itself out from that big deficit with a remarkable 12-0 run that gave the Hoosiers the lead for good.
“We’ve come very far, had a lot of early losses, but I felt like we learned from watching film,” said Ferrell, a sophomore who has emerged as Indiana’s top scorer. “We’ve been working hard in practice, but we’re not going to be content with it.”
Nor should they be.
While Ferrell and Robinson led the way, only two other players — senior Will Sheehey and freshman Noah Vonleh reached double figures. Sheehey had 13 points, Vonleh 11. They lost the rebounding battle 33-28 and allowed the Badgers to shoot 53.3 percent from the field.
But it was the more experienced Badgers who got out of sorts late.
Jackson missed a 3 from the top of the key with 12 seconds to go. Josh Gasser grabbed the rebound and flipped the ball out to Ben Brust in the corner, who rushed his shot with 5 seconds left and came up short.
“When the clock’s ticking in your head like that, he felt like there were two seconds to go or three,” Ryan said. “Also he felt that he needed to get the shot up in case the first touch from 3-point range is the call. There was actually just under four seconds left when the ball came down.”
Over the final 13 minutes, the Badgers struggled to score and their shooting woes gave Indiana the opening it so desperately needed.
Everything changed after Indiana coach Tom Crean called a timeout with 13:27 to go.
Evan Gordon started the rally with a 17-foot jumper. Sheehey and Robinson followed that with consecutive layups. Vonleh finished the 12-0 run with a jumper in the paint to give Indiana a 54-52 lead with 8:58 left, and the Hoosiers never trailed again.
But Wisconsin tied the score at 61 and closed to 73-72 on Kaminsky’s putback with 28.5 seconds left.
Ferrell then made two free throws, the Badgers missed the two 3s — and the crowd went wild over the Hoosiers their biggest win of the season.
“We’re not going to sit and watch this tape and have a pizza party and get some ice cream and say ‘Wow, we couldn’t have played any better,’” said Crean, who beat Ryan for the first time since he was hired by Indiana. “We’re not. I think we’ve got a lot of potential, but you coach this game expecting to win.”