Wisconsin upsets Indiana in Bloomington

By Nathan Brown

During the Tom Crean era in Bloomington, the Indiana men’s basketball team has surpassed several hurdles, but Hoosier fans may have to wait another year before IU can take down Wisconsin with Crean at the helm.

After never truly getting into an offensive rhythm, save an 18-point first half performance from sophomore forward Cody Zeller, the Hoosiers couldn’t surmount a strong-enough comeback after falling behind by double-digits in the second half, losing 64-59 to the Badgers.

Coming into Tuesday’s matchup with Wisconsin, the Hoosiers had been held to less than 70-points just twice this season, both times resulting in wins against Georgia and Iowa.

But in nine of the last 10 meetings between the Hoosiers and the Badgers, IU had reached the 70-point threshold just once, a Big Ten tournament loss last season 79-71.

Junior guard Victor Oladipo put the Hoosiers on the board quick, though, with a 3-pointer from the top of the key in IU’s first possession.

From there, though, the Badgers were able to stifle most of IU’s offensive production in the first half, holding the team to just 32 first half points as well as just three points on the fast break.

The lone bright spot for the Hoosiers in the first 20 minutes came from Zeller, who went on two scoring runs, of eight and six points, respectively, to help keep the Hoosiers in the thick of things. He finished the half with 18 points, and along with senior forward Christian Watford’s 3-pointer with 20.8 seconds left in the half, the Hoosiers went into the locker room with a 32-31 lead.

But in the second half, it appeared that Wisconsin Coach Bo Ryan had found a way to neutralize Zeller down low by eliminating him as an open option for that extra pass which burned the Badgers in the first half. Zeller managed just five points in the second half to finish with a game-high of 23.

And without much scoring late from the sophomore forward, the IU offense struggled.

The Hoosiers fell behind by as many as 10 points in the second half as Wisconsin built up a lead during a 2:54 stint midway through the half where IU failed to score and the Badgers rattled off nine-straight points to go up 47-39.

The Wisconsin lead would reach its peak at 51-41 to cap a 13-2 Badger run, but the game seemed to turn from there for a moment.

The Hoosiers, as a team, seemed to find their offensive touch for the first time all game. Watford and Oladipo hit back-to-back buckets for IU, with a steal from Zeller in between, and IU was now back within a couple possessions.

The game stalled for more than two-and-a-half minutes as several loose-ball and foul calls failed to go IU’s way as Hoosier Nation nearly reached a boiling point, but with three-straight Hoosier free throws and a 3-pointer from freshman guard Kevin “Yogi” Ferrell, IU was back within one, 52-51.

But the IU offense simply couldn’t keep the momentum going.

The Hoosiers would make just one field goal after Ferrell’s three with 4:43 left, and down the stretch, Wisconsin again pulled farther ahead with a string of six free throws to end the game and give IU it’s 11th-straight loss to the Badgers.

Read more here: http://www.idsnews.com/news/story.aspx?id=90480
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