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The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


Wisconsin deflates Hoosiers in second half, rolls to fifth straight win

Erik Brown

In what was a tale of two halves, the No. 5 Wisconsin men’s basketball team dominated the final 20 minutes of the game Tuesday night at the Kohl Center on their way to a 92-78 victory over the Indiana Hoosiers.

Wisconsin (20-2, 8-1 Big Ten) opened the game on a 9-0 run, but Indiana (16-7, 6-4 Big Ten) was able to counter with a 13-2 run of their own that put them up 13-11. Unfortunately for the Hoosiers, that was the last time they would see a lead Tuesday night, as the Badgers countered with a 13-3 run that Indiana never seemed able to recover from.

The game still remained fairly close throughout the rest of the first half, however. Both teams shot well in the period, with Wisconsin shooting 68 percent (17-for-25) from the field and 66.7 percent (4-for-6) from three, while Indiana shot 56 percent (14-for-25) and 72.7 percent (8-for-11) from three. Wisconsin also shot a perfect 6-for-6 from the free-throw line while Indiana did not attempt a free throw in the first half.


Wisconsin was able to put the game away in the second half by means of a 15-1 run in the first five minutes and a 27-6 run in the first eight minutes of the period, getting the lead up to as much as 32.

“With the way they shot and got themselves back into the game, if we don’t have that lead who knows what happens,” senior forward Frank Kaminsky said.

Ultimately, it came down to Wisconsin improving on the defensive end in the second half and not allowing Indiana to shoot the ball from behind the arc with the same kind of rhythm they had in the first half.

“We did not change anything we were doing defensively,” Wisconsin head coach Bo Ryan said. “It’s just that they got into a rhythm where they felt real comfortable with their threes [in the first half].”

Just as UW’s defensive mindset stayed the same, so did that of their offense. The Badgers dominated undersized Indiana down low all game, outscoring the Hoosiers 24-8 in the paint in the first half and 40-24 overall.

Wisconsin made sure to take advantage of all the mismatches they had down low, as there were even times where Indiana junior guard Yogi Ferrell, whose height is listed at six feet, would find himself guarding the seven-foot Kaminsky on the block.

“Most of our offense ran through the post tonight,” Kaminsky said. “When we had the size advantage we knew we had to take advantage of it. I think we did a good job feeding the post.”

Kaminsky, who scored a game-high 23 points on 9 of 12 shooting and also grabbed six rebounds, led the strong effort inside for the Badgers.

“[Kaminsky] is smart enough and agile enough and a student enough to be able to recognize some things, and his teammates have done a good job of recognizing how to get the ball into him,” Ryan said. “He has to be a part of the offense and he has been all year.”

While Wisconsin appeared to be in full control of the game in the second half, with more than seven minutes remaining in the game and the Badgers up 25, the Hoosiers decided to make one final push.

Over the next two minutes of the game, Wisconsin appeared to relax a bit while Indiana refused to go away, hitting three shots from behind the arc en route to a 13-2 run that brought them within 12.

With five minutes remaining, it seemed as though Indiana was going to make one final run at it, but Kaminsky had other plans, scoring the next 6 points for the Badgers, and Wisconsin wouldn’t let the Hoosiers creep any closer.

“We might of stepped off the gas a little bit and kind of relaxed and they took advantage of it, but we were able to give ourselves a huge cushion that whatever they did would’ve been really hard to come back from,” Kaminsky said.

Following Kaminsky’s effort were four other Wisconsin starters in sophomore forward Nigel Hayes (16), sophomore guard Bronson Koenig (15), junior forward Sam Dekker (14) and redshirt senior guard Josh Gasser (11) who all scored in double figures.

Off the bench, it was redshirt sophomore guard Zak Showalter who provided a spark for the Badgers, scoring a career-high 9 points off three-and-one layups. Showalter came into the game early in the second half after Gasser picked up his third personal foul and was able to take full advantage of his opportunity.

“I just kind of bring energy like I always do,” Showalter said. “Frank and Nigel seemed to be open every time I touched the ball so I was just trying to hit those guys. It felt good to be out there, and I had some good flashbacks of this action.”

With their total team effort, Wisconsin was able to put up their second highest scoring mark of the season and now have a two-game lead over four other teams in the Big Ten standings.

Wisconsin will stay at home for its next game when it takes the court Saturday against Northwestern. Tip is scheduled for 4:30 p.m.

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