Hoosiers fall short in double overtime at Wisconsin, 80-73

After Indiana coach Archie Miller had been asked a final question postgame, he leaned back in his chair, away from the Zoom screen. His hands were over his head.

With a sigh, Miller conferred how truly difficult it was to lose Thursday’s 80-73 contest at No. 8 Wisconsin.

In double overtime.

“Give them credit, they made a lot of winning plays at the end, and we didn’t make enough winning plays at the end,” Miller said earlier in his press conference. “And that’s what it takes in this league. When you play the best teams in the country, which Wisconsin is, you have to find a way to step up and execute and make some tough plays.”

This was far removed from last year’s performance at Wisconsin, where the Hoosiers barely competed, failing to give IU a chance to win its first game in Madison since 1998. This time around, IU (7-5, 2-3 Big Ten) very much battled. Star big man Trayce Jackson-Davis paced the Hoosiers with 23 points and 12 rebounds, while veteran guards Al Durham and Rob Phinisee hit some big shots on their way to 15 and 10 points, respectively.

Even with a thinning bench, absent sophomore guard Armaan Franklin because of an ankle injury, the Hoosiers were able to muster 3-pointers from freshman Anthony Leal and slams from sophomore forward Jerome Hunter.

But still, it wasn’t enough. Wisconsin’s D’Mitrick Trice was an equalizer, hitting game-tying shots at the end of regulation and the first overtime. In the second extra period, Tyler Wahl hit back-to-back 3s to give the Badgers a seven-point lead, pulling away from a Hoosier team that was struggling to catch its breath.

Those were plays IU just couldn’t quite find, whether the Hoosiers were ahead by six with under six minutes remaining in regulation, or up by two with under 30 seconds left in the first overtime. As close as they were, it was all the more painful to fall short.

“We didn’t come up here to be close,’ Durham said. “We came here to win.”

That echoed a message Jackson-Davis gave after a win slipped away on the road in the non-conference season. At Florida State, the Hoosiers were on the cusp of beating a ranked team, but just didn’t. IU had another close one, a home loss to Northwestern, open Big Ten play. Little by little, the Hoosiers are watching their record degrade despite valiant efforts.

There are positives to take from this one, especially the performance of a freshman guard like Leal. Pressed into 35 minutes of court time – 16 more than his previous season-high – the Bloomington native finished off the first half with consecutive 3-point makes, which blunted a 14-0 Wisconsin run.

“He works his behind off,” Durham said of Leal. “When I tell you he works his behind off, I really mean it. When you look up hard worker, it’s him. I’m not surprised by what he did tonight.”

Down 29-24 at the break, Jackson-Davis came out in the second half firing on all cylinders. He made his first seven shots, including a drive through the lane and an emphatic one-handed flush with the left hand, plus a foul. The three-point play cut the deficit to 48-47. Jackson-Davis then kicked out to Hunter for a 3, giving IU its first lead since just before the midway point of the first half.

IU pushed the lead to 56-50, but Wisconsin (10-2, 4-1) went on a 7-0 run. IU’s intial answer came from Phinisee, who slid to the wing to take a 3-pointer off a Durham pass. It hit, giving IU a 59-57 lead, but with a minute left, Trice tied it back up with a pair of free throws. Jackson-Davis fed Hunter, again, this time for a two-handed slam. But Trice knotted it back up on the other end.

Then came Winning Play No. 1 that was missed, a shot from Jackson-Davis in the post that dribbled off the rim, leading to overtime.

Leal hit a 3 to start extra time, but it was answered by Badger veteran Brad Davison. Leal came up with another big play, this time defensively, cutting off Reuvers on a baseline drive and forcing a turnover. Hunter dunked on the other end, giving IU a 66-64 edge with 90 seconds left.

But then Trice buried a 3. Durham, driving to his right, was able to find a seam off a Jackson-Davis screen and converted for a three-point play with 26 seconds left, making it 69-67. But again, Trice hit a shot, a step-back jumper in Jackson-Davis’ face, tying it up.

Davison was able to tie up Durham on IU’s last possession with about a second left. It seemed as if Phinisee ran through Durham’s airspace on the play, crowding his teammate as he tried to handle the ball, forcing Durham into Davison for the tie-up.

“We called a play, and we didn’t execute,” Durham said. “That was the bottom line. We didn’t execute the play.”

In the second overtime, an IU team that was forced to the bench early — because of early foul trouble to Race Thompson and Jerome Hunter mainly — seemed to hit a wall. Jackson-Davis and Durham each ended up with 49 minutes played. Phinisee had 48.

Wisconsin’s Tyler Wahl escaped for two consecutive 3s, pushing the Badgers’ lead to 77-70, and that was a decisive blow. Jackson-Davis didn’t take a shot in either overtime.

“Our guys in general, disappointed for them,” Miller said. “I have to do a better job for them. But we have another one, and a tough road swing, as we travel to Nebraska. We’re going to have to get ready for that one.”

Durham, clearly disappointed, echoed that sentiment.

“As you know, the Big Ten is a gauntlet,” Durham said. “So we gotta be on to the next game. We gotta get ready for Nebraska. We can’t dwell on the loss. We gotta get the next one.”

26 comments

  1. Another great IU Men’s Teaser basketball game. Kinda reminds me of a time when IU beat Wisky in 3 overtimes in 1987 a time when IU and Knight had about a 31 game win streak over the Badgers. As Wisky was about ready to hire Knight in 1968 but word leaked out and Knight withdrew his name…whatever that means. Is it karma that now Men’s Wisky basketball program has it’s own win streak against IU men’s basketball in the absence of B.K.
    Will IU start it’s own football win streak vs Wisky?
    Always waiting for something creative to happen with IU men’s basketball.
    I remember either Chris Reynolds or Jamal Meeks under Coach Knight taking a charge foul win opponent ( not sure maybe Penn State or Wisky) was taking ball out of bounds with a few seconds to go. That was about the only chance IU had. IU went on to win game.
    A.M. goes through post game talking motions as usual.

  2. Enough of the negativity. We had 3 critical chances to win this game;
    1. TJD had a chance to win it in regulation & missed a “lay up”, albeit with Reuver’s arm around his waist.
    2. TJD missed 2 of 3 FTs in OT that would’ve won it.
    3. Durham/Phinisee get crossed up & we don’t even get up a shot at the end of OT1.

    Close games boil down to these little things…1 play. We make 1 of those 3 & we win this game. Mistakes like this cannot be made vs. a Top 5 team on their home floor. (WI is #4 in KenPom.)

    While I’m proud of the effort, I’m disappointed we didn’t come away with the W.

    And I’m not going to bitch about the refs, because we did foul a lot, but they out scored us at the FT line 16-5.

    I looked at this 7 game stretch starting tonight & thought if we’d go 4-3 it would be a bonus.

    1. Sounds like a lot of negativity in above post. It still is a loss last I checked. Suppose it could be called 4-3 expectations. That might just equal 16-12 seasons year after year.

    2. I don’t like the L but effort with 2 important players injured that extended into 2 OT’s against a damn stout team on the road is fun to watch. Very satisfying to watch Hunter play his best game as a Hoosier. He shows more determination and aggressive play at the 4 than he does the 3. Felt the same about Leal playing good D and hitting some 3’s. I’ll take the improvement and bet more positive results coming shortly. Damn I wish Brunk was back. Davis could use a couple of small breaks each game.

  3. I am getting much better with these moral victories. Practice makes perfect and with a bit more practice every loss will be just fine. Just wish I could get paid millions to produce moral victories.

  4. AWinAZ hit the nail on the head with his 3 chance equation. This game was certainly a game we should have won? On the road it is the little things that are the difference between winning and losing. As AWin says, the little things were the difference. We played well enough to win but the lack of doing those little things mentioned were the reason for this defeat. Moral victories are just losses that should still hurt your record. I hate the term “moral victories”, any team that even mentions moral victories is due for a disappointing season! As a very famous coach once said, “You play to win the game!” If you don’t win, you work harder to get better! A missed relatively open layup was the difference in the game. Go Hoosiers!

  5. Lay up was just 1 play of many plays. If IU is up by let’s say conservatively 6 points a missed layup…still IU wins the game. IU men’s basketball has many moral victories in the 21st century. It parallels a pattern of IU football tradition during the 20th century and first approximately 15% of 21st century. Moral victories (except in maybe special circumstances) are fools gold.

  6. In many respects, regular season games, BigTen standings/titles and rankings are all “moral victories.”
    High rankings (some #1) and BigTen standings meant little under the last regime as we fizzled in March Madness and watched ineptitude on the biggest stages. So, at the end of the day, even the “real” victories were merely a mirage of “moral” victories.

    Get into March Madness (something an Archie Miller team has yet to have the opportunity after a long inheritance of toe-trippers and bricklayers finally gone …and the onset of a pandemic).

    This game was extraordinarily tough because Wisconsin had just lost to Maryland on their home court. It’s not an excuse, but teams with the sort of home record and “home cooking” as the Badgers will play as if an NCAA title is on the line before dropping two in a row at home.

    We’ll bounce back. We’ll get into March Madness and be an undervalued team primed to make a run.

    Leal…? Questions answered. Kid can ball. Love how he plays with confidence and way beyond his years.

    No ‘Franklin last night…Surprised no one has mentioned that little detail. You gotta fight with the “next man up,” but come on, guys. We talk of how the transferring of one lineman changes an entire running game of our football team. We can’t recognize how the absence of Franklin took some strengths away from our team last night?

  7. IU gave great effort, played tough defense, showed signs of improvement and blah, blah, blah, blah. IU lost another game! I’d rather we gave pour effort, defended like sissies, showed signs of regression and won the game. Winning is fun, positive and good; losing just sucks. No one is going to care that we gave them a tough game on their home court when we lose in the first round of the NIT.

    IU has lost 20 consecutive games at Wisconsin. That’s embarrassing. I can remember, as a student at IU, my friends and I would take road trips to Madison to watch IU beat the hell out of Wisconsin on their home court (what a dump Wisconsin’s old BB stadium used to be).

    IU lost this game because this roster does not include any good shooters. I don’t care about the stats from this game. I don’t care that Leal made three 3-point shots. The fact is that IU’s players could not make shots when they needed to. We couldn’t make 3-point shots, bunnies at the rim or free throws when it mattered. Our shooting skills disappeared in the two overtime periods while Wisconsin found ways to make shots in the second overtime.

    1. I get your points Podunk. Everyone is on this site because they want IU to win & have intense passion to do so. We’re united in that respect.

      But I will counter your ‘play poor & win’ preferred premise. I like to see continued improvement. Poor games you win don’t feel as bad as good games you lose. That is just my experience in my own years of playing & coaching. It is very hard to command the attention of teenagers when you’ve won & played poorly. That will inevitably catch-up with you.

      In this game, every single player could’ve done something differently to put us over the top. They all made critical errors when it mattered with missed FTs, TOs, & being out of position. So the L is on ALL of them. I like that because unlike other years in recent memory THIS TEAM CARES.

      I can assure you that if we play as hard & as well as we did last night against everyone else in the league, the results will be there getting us into the NCAA (not NIT!) tournament in March. This team will not fold.

    2. Old Tunnel Vision Po! The glass is always 1/2 empty, sky always falling down and the familiar Wolf- Wolf-Wolf. Oh what the hell let’s just close up shop. It’s over.

      1. O.K. Pollyanna, you’re right. Everything is fine with IU BB this season. It’s just a matter of time before this roster learns how to shoot a basketball. No doubt IU will make it to the NCAA Tournament and with the energy produced by the home-state crowds cheering them on, IU will win its sixth NCAA National Championship.

        For the record, Polly, the glass is 7/5ths full right now. I’m glad you’re satisfied with mediocrity, and I should apologize for having expectations of IU BB that are a bit higher.

  8. How soon before Parker Stewart begins to play? Or maybe one of these players formerly recruited by IU who recently entered the transfer portal will realize they should have signed with IU in the first place. “GOOD SHOORTERS WELCOME HERE.”

  9. AWinAZ, I appreciate your thoughtful response to my previous posts. But you wrote, “I can assure you that if we play as hard & as well as we did last night against everyone else in the league, the results will be there getting us into the NCAA….” I disagree and I don’t believe that’s a likely outcome for this roster. The problem is not our effort, not our defense, not that the players don’t care, not that they are not improving; the problem is these players can’t shoot. They are terrible on offense. I don’t care how hard you try, or how good you play defense, if you can’t score, you’re not going to win BB games. The key is the balance between your being effective on offense and being effective on defense. And under Archie’s coaching, IU has been out of balance for four consecutive seasons. His players are, by and large, terrible shooters.

    If this rosters plays hard and keeps getting better, but continues to lose games, IU won’t make it to the NCAA. Your comment is essentially saying that last night IU won a moral victory. There is no such thing. I’ll give IU credit for playing hard, being good on defense and for doing certain things better, but it doesn’t matter, they still lost the game. This IU roster does not include the right mix of talent, at least not yet. IMO, until Archie gets/develops one or two really good shooters, guys who can score when it matters, like Wisconsin’s excellent guard, the result we witnessed last night will continue and the season will be another disappointment.

  10. With all of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament being played in the State of Indiana, what are the chances the tournament committee will extend at least one team from the state a berth in the NCAA. Which team from an Indiana School will receive an invitation, any suggestions?

  11. The chance is probably between slim and none since all but a handful of fans will be prevented from attending the games. And the last time I looked, the NCAA does not hand out participation trophies.

    1. TJD has a lot of positives for the “next level”…But does the fact he still struggles to possess any game 10 feet from the basket mean we could very well have his services for another year?

  12. Indiana schools and NCAA. Not looking good. IU & Purdue have a good shot at making the tourney – but they both need to win more games. Purdue with win over Michigan is big. IU @ 23, Purdue @35, Notre Dame @87, Butler@90. All other Indiana school ranked 151 through 294. They would need to win there conference. (all KenPom #s)

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