Wisconsin Badgers fall to Indiana Hoosiers 75-73 in double-overtime battle
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — When Howard Moore began his deep dive into Indiana for the only regular-season meeting this season between the University of Wisconsin men’s basketball team and the Hoosiers, the Badgers assistant coach saw two different teams.
There was the Indiana team that went 12-2 to start the season, a run that included a blowout victory over Marquette and a close win at home against Louisville. And then there was the Indiana team that had gone 1-12 since that point, with the only positive result being a head-scratching overtime win at Michigan State early in February.
“They’re very capable,” Moore concluded earlier this week. “Some would say they’re probably due. So you have to do whatever you can to not be the due date for them.”
The No. 19 Badgers ended up being exactly that Tuesday night after freshman sensation Romeo Langford made a shot with 0.7 seconds left in the second overtime to give the Hoosiers a 75-73 win at Assembly Hall.
Langford finished with 22 points for the Hoosiers (14-14, 5-12 Big Ten), who pulled off the upset despite the fact three of their players fouled out of the game. Indiana deserves credit for earning the win, its first at home since Jan. 3.
But the Badgers (19-9, 11-6) were left kicking themselves afterward, a common refrain after each of their nine defeats this season.
Senior center Ethan Happ had 23 points and 11 rebounds before fouling out to lead UW. But the Badgers couldn’t survive poor shooting nights from three of their starters: D’Mitrik Trice, Brad Davison and Nate Reuvers were a combined 6 of 31 from the field.
UW shot 6 of 22 from 3-point range and worse yet, missed 12 of its 25 attempts from the free throw line.
“Especially in crunch time like that, you need to knock them down,” Happ said. “We make those, it’s a different ballgame. But there are plenty of opportunities on both ends of the floor that we didn’t take advantage of down the stretch.”
The Badgers missed their first five free throw attempts in the second overtime before Reuvers finally made one.
They finished the second extra session 2 of 8 from the line and 0 of 4 from the field, including point-blank misses from Happ and senior forward Khalil Iverson (15 points).
De’Ron Davis scored with 15.5 seconds remaining to give Indiana a 73-70 lead, but he missed a free throw that would have made it a two-possession game.
Trice, who had made a huge 3-pointer to tie the game late in the first overtime, was fouled on a 3-point attempt and made all three free throws to tie the game at 73 with 7.5 seconds left.
After a timeout, Indiana got the ball in Langford’s hands and he did the rest, driving past Iverson and finishing to give the Hoosiers the lead. Davison’s long pass went through Reuvers’ hands and the buzzer sounded, ending UW’s chance at a miracle win.
The last thing UW wanted to do defensively was let Langford go to his dominant right hand, and Badgers coach Greg Gard said there should have been a switch after the screen on the final play.
“Honestly, I want to take blame for that one because I should have switched with Khalil up top when they did a slide screen, so I take full responsibility for that,” Trice said. “We were going to try to keep him off his right hand and we didn’t switch.”
The Badgers trailed by 13 points in the second half but used a 20-3 run to take the lead. Six players scored during that charge, with Aleem Ford, Davison, Brevin Pritzl and Trice making 3-pointers.
The one by Trice after a scrambling possession gave UW a 54-50 lead with 6:52 remaining in the second half.
But the Hoosiers reclaimed the lead after a controversial Flagrant-1 call on Happ. After a missed jumper by Langford, Happ inadvertently elbowed Juwan Morgan in the head while trying to box him out.
No foul was called initially, but officials stopped play with Morgan on the ground and went to the replay monitors. After a long delay, they decided to call a foul on Happ. Langford made both free throws in place of Morgan, and Davis ended the possession with a free throw to give the Hoosiers a 55-54 lead.
“I even talked to Juwan after the game, and he knew that it wasn’t intentional,” Happ said. “From my perspective, my back was completely turned and I just spun with my arms up. So it was frustrating to give them those two free throws.”
Iverson drew a foul on Morgan – his fifth – and made a free throw that tied the game at 60 with 2:00 left. Neither team scored again until Rob Phinisee saved an ugly possession with an off-balance shot that gave Indiana a 62-60 lead with 9.1 seconds left.
UW hustled up the court and Trice drew a foul with 5.3 seconds left. He made both free throws, and Phinisee barely missed a 3-pointer from the right wing in the closing seconds of regulation.