Wisconsin came up with clutch offensive rebounds down the stretch and hit key free throws to hold off Indiana 57-50 in a Big Ten slugfest before 17,230 at the Kohl Center in Madison. The Badgers extended their mastery over the Hoosiers. IU (16-5 overall, 4-5 in the Big Ten) hasn’t won in Madison since Jan. 25, 1998, a string of 11 straight defeats.
In a contest played at Wisconsin’s favored methodical pace, the Hoosiers led by six in the first half and hung tough down the stretch before the Badgers went to the glass. Wisconsin got three critical offensive rebounds in the game’s final minute and hit six free throws to break up the contest.
IU had chances, but Christian Watford missed a pair of foul shots with2:28 to go, but redeemed himself with a steal and a pull-up jumper on the next possession to cut Wisconsin’s 51-48 lead to 51-50.
But on the next possession, Badgers sophomore guard Ben Brust got his own rebound on a misssd three, then Wisconsin’s Ryan Evans grabbed a rebound and drew a foul from Indiana’s Jordan Hulls, making two free throws to make it 53-50.
IU’s CodyZeller, plagued by foul trouble all night, re-entered the game and missed a hook shot on the other end. After a missed 3-pointer by normally hot-shooting Badgers guard Jordan Taylor, UW’s Mike Brusewitz tossed Zeller to the ground, and grabbed another offensive rebound. Watford had to foul him with the shot clock off, and Brusewitz made two more free throws to make it 55-50.
Indiana junior guard Matt Roth missed a 3-pointer with six seconds left.
The Hoosiers were led senior guard Verdell Jones and Watford, who each finished with 12 points. Zeller was limited to seven points and three boards.
Wisconsin shot 15-for-19 from the line while Indiana was just 5-for-10. Indiana was whistled for 18 fouls to Wisconsin’s 10. The Badgers’ Evans scored eight of his 12 points on free throws and Brusewitz got four of his 10 at the line.