February 19, 2009

Badgers surge past Indiana in second half, 68-51

Trailing just one point at halftime, the Hoosiers looked poised to potentially pick up their second conference win of the season. However, an 18-4 Badger run ate up nine minutes of the second half to give Wisconsin the victory, 68-51.

With junior guard Devan Dumes returning from his two-game suspension, the offense opened up more in the opening frame. Verdell Jones used those openings to penetrate, scoring 10 first half points for the Hoosiers. As a team, Indiana was 50 percent (12-of-24) from the floor for the first twenty minutes, including a perfect 5-of-5 from the free throw line.

But the speed of Badger point guard Trevon Hughes nullified the Indiana offense. The junior scored 10 points in the first half and finished with 21 points on the evening.

Despite the strong offensive output from IU early, the team still trailed 31-30 going into the half. And things even started out well for the Hoosiers in the second half. Tom Crean went right back to Jones' hot hand. The freshman drove the lane and hit a five-footer to give Indiana the lead, 32-31.

However, after losing that lead, the Badgers stepped it up on both ends of the court. Bo Ryan's crew forced forward Tom Pritchard into his third and fourth fouls in a matter of 20 seconds. Wisconsin then put together an 18-4 run that consisted of nine minutes to give UW a 49-36 advantage. The Badgers coasted from there, picking up the 68-51 victory.

"I don't think we competed in the second half," Crean said. "Our defense just fell apart. They just played better, that's the bottom line."

Indiana only managed five second half field goals while shooting 27.8 percent (5-of-18), including just 18 percent (2-of-11) on three-point attempts. The team did only commit 15 turnovers on the evening, but garnered just six assists. They also allowed Wisconsin to shoot 61 percent in the second half.

"We had a deeper bench tonight, we just didn't do as good a job as we should have," Crean said. "Our communication really broke down. They took some quick shots and they made some shots. They found match-ups they liked and found a rhythm and we can't let teams do that.

"They played like a veteran club and we played like a bunch of rookies."

Jones led Indiana with 16 points. Dumes, in his first game back from suspension struggled from the field, but was a perfect 9-of-9 from the charity stripe to finish with 12 points. Matt Roth only attempted two shots on the evening and left the game with an undisclosed injury late in the second half.

"He didn't force anything," Ryan said. "Jason Bohannon didi a good job on him moving his feet. We had to be aware of him when he was on the court because he can flat-out shoot."

Indiana has a short two-day rest before heading up to West Lafayette to play No. 19 Purdue on Saturday.

...More... To continue reading this article you must be a member. Sign Up Now!