Hoosiers blow another second-half lead

WHAT HAPPENED: After taking a 29-19 lead into halftime, Indiana was outscored 50-29 in the second half to fall 69-58 to No. 14 Wisconsin in front of 17,249 at the Kohl Center.

The Hoosiers fell to 15-12 overall, 5-9 in the Big Ten with their seventh loss in their last 10 games. They have dropped 12 straight in Madison with their last road victory over Wisconsin coming in January of 1998. No. 14 Wisconsin improved to 23-5 overall, 10-5 in the Big Ten.

Wisconsin erased most of Indiana’s lead with a 9-2 spurt to start the second half and eventually extended it to a 22-9 run, taking the lead for good on a 3-pointer by senior guard Ben Brust with 13:03 to go that made it 41-38. Wisconsin later went ona  10-0 run to make it a 58-43 game with 3:25 to go, putting the game away for good. 

WHO MADE IT HAPPEN: Wisconsin sophomore forward Sam Dekker led five scorers in double figures with 16 points and seven rebounds. He also had two assists and three blocked shots.

Point guard Traevon Jackson scored 14 points despite shooting 2-for-9 in the first half. Brust scored 12 points, hitting three second-half three-pointers after going 0-for-5 from the field in the first half. Junior guard Josh Gasser scored 11 points and center Frank Kaminsky added 10.

Indiana sophomore point guard Yogi Ferrell scored 24 points on 9-for-19 shooting, hitting five 3-pointers and keeping himself in the race for the Big Ten scoring title. Freshman center Noah Vonleh had one of his most aggressive outings with 18 points on 8-for-15 shooting. However, the Hoosiers got little else on offense. Senior forward Will Sheehey scored the Hoosiers’ first seven points, then didn’t score again after the 17:07 mark in the first half.

WHY DID IT HAPPEN: Indiana had one of its best halves of defense on the season in the first half and one of its worst in the second half. The Hoosiers held Wisconsin to just 19 points on 7-for-27 shooting and the Badgers were just 1-for-10 from beyond the arc in the first half. In the second, Wisconsin was 13-for-21 from the field and 6-for-11 from three. They also made 18 of 19 free throws in the second frame.

The reason was defense against the dribble. The Badgers scored back-to-back buckets off dribble drives to start the second half, and from that point forward it seemed like the whole floor opened up. Indiana failed to stop the initial penetration, over-helped and left shooters open, didn’t quite rotate fast enough to contest 3-pointers and watched those shots fall through the hoop. When that didn’t happen, the Hoosiers fouled and put Wisconsin players on the line. IU freshman forward Troy Williams had particular trouble guarding the dribble, but no one was immune an that allowed the Badgers to run them out of the gym.

WHAT DOES IT MEAN: A loss to a top 15 team at a place the Hoosiers never win doesn’t exactly thrust them back into free-fall mode, but it does underscore just how difficult it is going to be for Indiana to get much of anything accomplished the rest of the season. The Hoosiers had one of their best all-around first halves of the season, and the lead not only slipped away, it was violently torn away from them. Indiana missed so many opportunities to grasp winnable games early in the season, and now with the schedule so heavily backloaded, they could perform as well as they have all season down the stretch and still not win another game. Every team that remains on Indiana’s schedule, starting with this Wisconsin team, has a chance at an NCAA Tournament berth, and Nebraska is the only team remaining that isn’t a lock. Wisconsin fans were chanting “N-I-T” at the Hoosiers on Tuesday night, but with 15 wins and no easy games left, the Hoosiers will have to pull an upset in a game like this one just to get into that tournament.


AUDIO: Yogi Ferrell and Noah Vonleh

AUDIO: Ben Brust and Sam Dekker


  1. Dan Dakich makes every loss seem worse because he thinks he knows everything. Get hired Dan and put your money where your mouth is! C’mon ESPN, send this fool to the Pac 10 for the rest of the season.

  2. As that noted philosopher Yogi Berra once said, “It’s deja vu all over again.” How many games have we led at the half only to lose in the end? Are we even making any halftime adjustments? Forget about the Big Dance. There’s a good chance this team won’t even get an invite to the Sock Hop a/k/a NIT if they don’t win another game this year.

  3. Damon Bailey? Please. Why is this “commenter” allowed to post under Bailey’s name? Can one of you moderators please clarify that, because some on here might think it’s the REAL Damon, of Indiana basketball fame, posting that trash about Dakich, among the rest of the bs comments he makes here.

    The REAL Damon Bailey called into Dakich’s show this afternoon and expressed no such opinion about Dan Dakich. So this Scoop commenter is clearly an impostor, something I have suspected all along.

    The REAL Damon Bailey is the coach of Indiana’s #2 ranked girls basketball team. The team is playing #1 N. Lawrence of Indy in the Semi-State this Saturday at Bedford North Lawrence facility. This team won the state last year and is going for a repeat. Previously undefeated in two seasons, they lost to this rival in Indy earlier this season, and lost their #1 ranking.

    It will be one amazing game. BNL plays the most disciplined, team oriented basketball very similar to how Bobby Knight’s team used to be, and a true CONTRAST to what passes for IU basketball these days. For $8.00 and a short drive, it will be one of the best spectator events of the season. The Lady Stars of BNL are just AMAZING to watch, and will restore Hoosier Basketball Pride in anyone who is missing their “fix”.

    So Jeremy, Dustin, somebody moderating, please show a little respect and do something about this “Damon Bailey” impostor. The REAL Damon deserves better than having this whiner posting under his name!

  4. All of you who constantly bash Dan Dakich for being “MEAN” to Crean and Indiana, claim he is doing “sour grapes” because he’s not the coach, and demanding that he not be allowed to do the Indiana games on ESPN, you all sure are thin skinned.

    I listen to Dakich almost daily, and have been surprised at how neutral to positive are his comments about Crean himself, and very little, light criticism about the way the team plays. As frank as Dakich often is on the air, he could be tearing it up about the coach and team, yet he seems to be handling the entire topic with great sensitivity.

    Do you all expect a media commentator to make EXCUSES for IU in order to deem it acceptable? Do you all think that Dakich would leave his lucrative, easy, fun media commentator job in order to get in the trenches with a college basketball team, and especially the IU team? Or do you just like to unfairly criticize anyone that notices that the IU basketball team has got TERRIBLE ISSUES?

    Give it a rest, Dakich haters. Your complaints are TOTALLY 100% unfounded!

  5. My biggest issue with the team is the fact that, outside of Noah, the freshmen don’t look that much better than day 1. This is the time of year where you see a lot of talented freshmen take that big leap forward. The light bulb goes off and the game slows down for them. Sure our freshmen have had some good games here or there, but nothing consistent. I blame coaching and the staff for that. Especially, with the amount of playing time our freshmen have been getting the improvement has not been there. This freshmen class had high expectations and outside of Noah, I am just not seeing it.

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