INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Indiana put the "there's no such thing as an ugly win" theory to the test Friday in its Big Ten Tournament quarterfinal matchup with Wisconsin.
The fifth-seeded Hoosiers bounced back from a horrific 15-point first half effort to hand fourth-seeded Wisconsin a 61-56 loss Friday afternoon at Conseco Fieldhouse. Indiana (18-10) advances to a Saturday semifinal matchup with No. 5 Ohio State (24-4) at 4:05 p.m. The top-seeded Buckeyes overcame a 12-point second-half deficit to knock off eighth-seeded Penn State, 63-56, in Friday's first quarterfinal matchup.
Early on, it appeared the Hoosiers' stay in Indianapolis would be an abbreviated one. After jumping to a 10-2 lead in the game's first seven minutes behind six points and six rebounds from Marco Killingsworth, Indiana promptly went scoreless for the next 9:18. Indiana missed nine straight shots, turned the ball over five more times, and missed all three of its free throws.
Wisconsin was having its own struggles, as it was forced to play the majority of the first half without Alando Tucker and Kammron Taylor, both of whom picked up two early fouls. But a 10-point, 2 ½-minute outburst from walk-on forward Kevin Gullikson capped a 15-0 Badger run that put the Hoosiers in a 17-10 hole with 6:34 remaining in the half.
Wisconsin eventually went into the locker room leading 19-15 in a first half to forget. The two teams combined to miss 18 of 19 3-point shots in the opening 20 minutes, commit 14 turnovers, and there was nary an assist from either squad.
"In the first game of the tournament there was some nervousness at the beginning. We got a great start but then once we got settled in we just started settling for jump shots," IU Coach Mike Davis said. "In the first half, to hold them to 25 percent shooting was pretty good but offensively we didn't make plays the way we wanted. It was all because of us, it had nothing to do with them."
The second half was a different story, at least for Indiana. Mike Davis' team made its first five shots of the period to take a 26-21 lead, and wound up making 18-of-28 (64.3 percent) after intermission. Indiana pushed the tempo at the start of the period, getting a couple of easy layups from Killingsworth and a fastbreak lay-up from Earl Calloway.
"We just talked about what we didn't do in the first half," Davis said.
Indiana would extend the lead to nine on two occasions midway through the half before Wisconsin mounted its own rally. Led by a 14-point, 7 ½-minute stretch by Alando Tucker, Wisconsin recaptured the lead 46-45, with 7:45 remaining on a follow-up dunk by Ray Nixon.
But Indiana came up with the plays it needed to down the stretch. The Hoosiers retook the lead for good at the 6:24 mark on a reverse layup by Marshall Strickland. A Killingsworth hook shot and a Wilmont 3-pointer extended the lead to six, 55-49, with 4:28 left.
Wisconsin, though, would have its chances. After a pair of Tucker free throws cut the IU lead to four, the Hoosiers proceeded to go scoreless on its next four possessions, missing four shots and turning the ball over twice. But Wisconsin missed its three shots during the three-minute stretch as well, squandering a trio of opportunities to turn the game into a one-possession contest.
"We got them to not score three or four times when they were at 55," Wisconsin Coach Bo Ryan said. "That's where you have to take advantage. That's a position to be in."
But Wisconsin couldn't do that. While Indiana's shooting woes were remedied after intermission, the Badgers shot just 21-of-64 (32.8) percent from the game, including 2-of-17 (11.8 percent) from behind the 3-point arc. The team's two best perimeter shooters on the season – Kammron Taylor and Ray Nixon – combined to go 1-of-14 from the floor and 0-for-7 from behind the 3-point arc.
That left the Badgers relying almost exclusively on Tucker (20 points, eight rebounds) and Brian Butch (12 points, nine rebounds). While Tucker and Butch did have success against the Hoosiers, it wasn't enough to overcome IU's second-half shooting as well as the play of Killingsworth. Killingsworth finished with a game-high 20 points and 12 rebounds, while Marshall Strickland added 16 and Rod Wilmont 11.
"I think our execution really stepped up in the second half," Strickland said. "We started making harder cuts and really concentrating on running our plays correctly. That was probably the key to ball movement and better shots."
Killingsworth 10-15 0-0 20, Ratliff 0-1 0-0 0, Strickland 6-9 2-4 16, Vaden 2-10 2-2 7, Calloway 3-4 0-2 6, Wilmont 4-8 0-0 11, Suhr 0-0 1-2 1, Allen 0-2 0-1 0, Kline 0-0 0-0 0, Monroe 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 25-50 5-11 61.
Nixon 1-8 0-0 2, Flowers 3-13 2-4 9, Taylor 0-6 3-4 3, Butch 5-10 1-2 12, Tucker 8-18 4-6 20, Chappell 0-0 0-0 0, Bronson 0-1 0-0 0, Gullikson 4-6 2-2 10, Krabbenhoft 0-2 0-0 0. Totals 21-64 12-18 56.
Halftime Score: Wisconsin 19, Indiana 15. 3-Pointers: Indiana 6-19 (Killingsworth 0-1, Strickland 2-3, Vaden 1-6, Calloway 0-1, Wilmont 3-5, Allen 0-2, Monroe 0-1), Wisconsin 2-17 (Nixon 0-6, Flowers 1-4, Taylor 0-1, Btuch 1-2, Tucker 0-2, Bronson 0-1, Krabbenhoft 0-1). Rebounds: Indiana 37 (Killingsworth 12), Wisconsin 40 (Butch 9). Assists: Indiana 13 (Strickland 4, Vaden 4), Wisconsin 2 (Tucker, Krabbenhoft). Turnovers: Indiana 14 (Strickland 4, Killingsworth 4), Wisconsin 10 (Taylor 3, Tucker 3). Blocks: Indiana 1 (Vaden), Wisconsin 2 (Nixon, Butch). Officials: Ed Hightower, Art McDonald, Glen Mayborg. Attendance: 18,730
Hoosiers Bounce Back Against Badgers, 61-56
Peegs.com Top Stories
Freddie McSwain close to returnJunior college transfer Freddie McSwain speaks to his return to full go action and his transition to high major basketball at Indiana.
Peegs.comYesterday at 1:34 PM
Quality 'Priller Time' in Hysteria scrimmageJunior forward Tim Priller had back-to-back baskets in a stretch during Saturday's Hoosier Hysteria scrimmage to show he's improved his game. Before that he sat down with Peegs.com…
Peegs.comYesterday at 1:08 PM
Tackles adding up for Tegray ScalesIt has been a long time since Indiana has seen a player rack up the tackles like Tegray Scales has this season.
Peegs.comYesterday at 10:37 AM
2016 Indiana Football Scholarship ChartCheck out the Peegs.com 2016 Scholarship Chart for the Indiana Football team.
Peegs.comYesterday at 10:13 AM