Wisconsin blows past Indiana, 92-78 #iubb

MADISON, Wis. — Long before the initial tip-off, before its beating became ugly and one-sided, another deflating injury cost Indiana one of its most important parts.

Late in Saturday’s game against Rutgers, freshman James Blackmon Jr. suffered an ankle injury that apparently became worse in the ensuing three days, causing him to sit idly on the bench during Tuesday’s 92-78 loss to No. 5 Wisconsin at the Kohl Center.

Blackmon was a gametime decision, according to IU radio man Don Fischer, but never so much as removed his candy-striped warmup pants while watching the Hoosiers suffer another frustrating road defeat.

As much as Indiana could have used Blackmon’s offense, the big picture wasn’t ripe to change without defensive stops — of which the Hoosiers had few. Wisconsin shot 60 percent (29-for-48), including a 6-for-11 mark from 3-point range.

The Badgers went to Frank Kaminsky early and often, and the player of the year answered with a game-high 23 points, while going 9-for-12 from the field. Nigel Hayes added 16 points (5-for-5 shooting) and Sam Dekker scored 14 points for first-place Wisconsin.

And yet for as one-sided as this game became, Indiana still scored more points against the Badgers than all but one opponent — Duke, which totaled 80 in an ACC/Big Ten Challenge victory — and finished with a .491 shooting percentage and 13 3-pointers.

Nick Zeisloft was one of five IU players to finish in double figures, scoring a team-high 17 points for Indiana. Robert Johnson added 16 points, Troy Williams scored 14 points and Yogi Ferrell finished with 13 points and Collin Hartman had 11.

Wisconsin scored the game’s first nine points before Indiana fought back on Hartman’s shoulders. The sophomore scored eight early points to get within IU within 11-10 before Johnson gave the Hoosiers their only lead on a 3-pointer six minutes into the first half. From there, Wisconsin scored six unanswered points and never trailed again.

Indiana had no defensive solutions for Kaminsky and Hayes, who combined to shoot 10-for-10 for 25 points through the first half. The Hoosiers only hope fell on their perimeter shooting. For a time, that was nearly enough.

IU shot 8-of-11 from beyond the arc in the first half, paced by three deep balls from Zeisloft, but still found itself trailing 44-36 at halftime. Indiana’s 36 points tied for the most allowed by the Badgers all season.

But that well went dry to open the final half, when the Hoosiers missed each of their first seven shots while Wisconsin opened the period on an 11-0 run.

The Hoosiers also struggled to get to the free throw line. Indiana had 11 personal fouls — off of which Wisconsin shot 10-for-11 at the line — called against it before attempting its first free throw at the 14:52 mark of the second half. And by the time Troy Williams hit the second of his two free throws the Hoosiers trailed 57-37.

Indiana’s first field goal of the period didn’t come until Williams scored on a layup and picked up a foul almost a minute later.

Indiana cut a 32-point deficit to 12 points with three minutes left in regulation when Ferrell converted a three-point play at the free throw line.

This story will be updated.

One comment

  1. We knew Indiana would not win this game, but the defense they played was atrocious. Time after time, layup after layup, tip in after tip in, they were so outmanned it was like watching men against boys.

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