BLOOMINGTON – Whether in rebuilding or as one of the top teams in the country, Wisconsin recently has had Indiana’s number.
Bo Ryan’s team has beaten the Hoosiers the last ten times they’ve faced each other-both when the team was trying to get up off the ground following the Kelvin Sampson era and their return to prominence last season.
On Tuesday night, that didn’t change.
The second-ranked Hoosiers again struggled with Wisconsin, falling behind by as many as ten in the second half as they fell to the Badgers 64-59 Tuesday night at Assembly Hall. Its the Hoosiers’ first loss of the Big Ten season and just their second all season long.
Wisconsin overcame a one-point halftime deficit to outscore the Hoosiers by five points in the final 20 minutes while holding Indiana well under its average of 87 points a game.
A balanced Badgers team put four in double figures led by Ryan Evans’ 14 points. Sophomore Cody Zeller scored a game-high 23 points in the game but was held to just five points in the second half after shooting 8-for-8 in the first 20 minutes of the game.
Despite Zeller’s early efforts the Hoosiers didn’t pull ahead in the first half for good until the final seconds when Christian Watford hit a three-pointer to send Indiana to the break up one. Wisconsin would emerge from the locker room as the aggressors in the second half, going on a 18-6 run to pull ahead by ten points midway through the second half.
The Hoosiers would claw away at the lead in the final minutes and got within a point when Watford hit a pair of free throws with 3:40 left. But Wisconsin wasn’t relentless on the defensive end, allowing Indiana just six points the rest of the game to make it 11-straight over the Hoosiers.