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Indiana hands Wisconsin its first loss

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By Jeff Potrykus
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
January 15, 2014

BLOOMINGTON, Ind.--With the final seconds ticking away and a sellout crowd of 17,472 standing and screaming, Bo Ryan’s team had two chances to forge overtime.

Traevon Jackson came up inches short on an open 3-pointer from the top of the key and fellow guard Ben Brust, after Josh Gasser fought for the offensive rebound and kicked the ball outside, came up short from the right corner.

Seconds later, the Assembly Hall court was a sea of Crimson and Cream as the unranked Hoosiers held on for a 75-72 victory over No. 3 UW on Tuesday night.

“It sucks to lose,” Gasser said after UW’s first loss of the season dropped the Badgers to 3-1 in the Big Ten and 16-1 overall. “It sucks a lot, especially a Big Ten game like this.”

UW, which built a 52-42 lead with 13 minutes 27 seconds remaining, didn’t fall because of the missed 3-pointers. The Badgers fell because their defense against Indiana (12-5, 2-2) resembled a six-lane highway with no congestion and no posted speed limits.

Indiana drove at will from the start and finished with 52 points in the paint to snap a 12-game losing streak against UW.

“That’s way too many,” Gasser said of the points in the paint. “We know that’s their strength. Pretty much every guy on their roster is attack first and can score in the paint and it showed out there.

“We just needed to make them take jumpers.”

Sophomore guard Yogi Ferrell, who missed his first seven 3-point attempts and hit 10 of 24 shots overall, hit a huge 3 to break a 65-65 tie with 2:51 left. He added a tough jumper in the lane over Frank Kaminsky to give the Hoosiers a 70-65 lead with 2:04 left. Ferrell added two free throws with 18.1 seconds left, his 24th and 25th points, to give Indiana a 75-72 lead.

However, Ferrell set the tone early by dribbling into the heart of the defense and attacking the rim. He missed six of his first seven shots but his aggressiveness was contagious.

“It was very important we get to the basket,” said Tom Crean, now 1-10 against UW as Indiana’s coach. “We needed to get in the lane whether it’s through the post or the drive.”

Forward Will Sheehey, who scored a combined two points on 1-of-11 shooting in two losses to UW last season, attacked the rim all night. He hit 6 of 13 shots and finished with 13 points. Freshman Robinson Stanford did the same, hitting 6 of 10 shots, and finished with 13 points.

“We gave up a lot of layups and dunks and stuff in transition,” said Brust, who hit just 1 of 7 3s and finished with 13 points. “Stuff that we need to take away if we’re going to be successful.”

UW, which had limited its last 10 opponents to no better than 43.1 percent shooting, saw Indiana shoot 51.6 percent (32 of 62 attempts). The Hoosiers hit 4 of 14 3-pointers and 7 of 10 free throws for a total of 19 points. Of the remaining 56 points, 52 came in the lane.

“We’re going to get in the film room hard tomorrow,” Gasser said. “I’m sure Coach Ryan will point out every bucket they had in the paint because they had a lot of them.”

From Ryan’s seat, he saw the perimeter defenders play driving angles tentatively after picking up early fouls.

“Guys were just worried about fouls,” Ryan said. “It just really surprised me that our guys would not play the way we normally play, taking away driving lines and things like that.”

Jackson (19 points) and freshman Bronson Koenig (0-of-4 shooting) had two fouls apiece in the first half and were limited to 8 and 6 minutes, respectively, in the half. Jackson picked up his third foul with 9:44 left.

Jackson’s 3-point attempt at the end from the top of the key hit off the front of the rim.

“I got the shot I wanted,” said Jackson, who scored 11 of UW’s first 14 points in the second half to help the Badgers build a 49-40 lead. “I just didn’t make it.”

Nor did Brust.

Brust initially went inside for the rebound on Jackson’s miss. However, after backing out to the corner and getting the pass from Gasser, Brust had to make sure he was behind the 3-point line. His shot didn’t draw the rim and the Hoosiers ran out the final 4 seconds.

“I didn’t know exactly where I was,” said Brust, who launched the shot with about 7 seconds left. “And if I would have known there was some time left I could have dribbled it out and gotten a better look.

“I’ve got to learn from it.”

More than anything, Ryan’s players learned they can’t beat a determined team on the road playing matador defense.



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