Indiana's regular season finale didn't offer any sort of sweet ending to a long, sometimes tortuous campaign.
Wisconsin put together a 14-3 run to close the first half and open a 17-point halftime lead, and subsequently coasted to an 85-61 win over Indiana at the Kohl Center.
The loss was Indiana's 20th in its last 21 games and dropped the Hoosiers to 6-24 overall and 1-17 in the Big Ten. Wisconsin (19-11/10-8) won for the seventh time in its last nine games and locked up a first-round bye and the No. 4 seed in next week's Big Ten Tournament with the win.
The loss was also the last of 11 straight setbacks on the road this season for Indiana, marking first time since 1900-01 that an IU basketball team hasn't won at least one true road game in a season.
After losing its last two games to Penn State and Michigan State by a combined eight points, Indiana couldn't make it three straight down-to-the-wire contests. Wisconsin's Jason Bohannon connected on the first of his three 3-pointers at the 17:00 mark of the first half to put the Badgers up 7-5, erasing Indiana's first – and only – lead of the day.
The lead continued to balloon from there. Playing without Devan Dumes due to a knee injury, Indiana was plagued by many of the same problems its battled all season, turning the ball over 12 times in the first half and 16 times overall. The first-half miscues prevented Crean's team from being able to take advantage of 60 percent shooting (9-of-15) in the game's first 20 minutes.
Despite suffering its most lopsided loss since a 28-point setback at Michigan State Feb. 7, Indiana did get some big performances from Verdell Jones and Nick Williams, who both finished with career highs. Jones had 23 points on 7-of-10 shooting, while Williams added 19 points on 6-of-9 shooting.
"We had some guys play some really good minutes. Verdell did an excellent job, Nick certainly did," IU Coach Tom Crean said.
While Indiana leaned on Jones and Williams for most of its offensive production, Wisconsin got a balanced effort on its Senior Day. Playing in his final regular season game at the Kohl Center, Wisconsin senior Joe Krabbenoft scored 13 of his team-high 19 in the second half to lead the way.
"Joe Krabbenhoft has been in Bo (Ryan's) rotation since the beginning and he has always made the team better," Crean said. "There's no question about it. He makes a lot of big plays offensively and a ton of big plays defensively. That's the kind of guy that should be on an NBA roster…when you get guys like that, they're invaluable."
In addition to Krabbehoft's effort, Wisconsin also got 15 from Bohannon, while Trevon Hughes (nine points, five steals) and Marcus Landry (seven points, seven rebounds, six assists) also had a big hand in the Badgers win.
Indiana will head to Indianapolis this week for the Big Ten Tournament, where it will face sixth-seeded Penn State (21-10/10-8) on Thursday at 5 p.m. The Nittany Lions missed out on a first-round Big Ten tourney bye with their double-overtime loss to Iowa Saturday.
Landry 2-7 2-4 7, Leuer 3-7 3-4 9, Krabbenhoft 5-10 9-10 19, Hughes 3-3 3-4 9, Bohannon 5-12 2-2, Smith 0-0 0-0 0, Taylor 2-2 2-2 8, Valentyn 1-1 0-0 3, Cain 1-1 0-0 2, Jarmusz 1-2 2-3 4, Wilson 0-0 2-2 2, Gullikson 3-5 1-1 7, Nankivil 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 26-50 26-32 85.
Pritchard 3-6 2-4 8, Taber 1-2 0-0 2, Finkelmeier 0-1 0-0 0, Jones 7-10 7-8 23, Williams 6-9 7-9 19, Santa 0-0 0-2 0, Roth 3-4 0-0 7, Moore 0-0 0-0 0, Gambles 0-2 1-2 1, Barnett 0-0 0-0 0, Lewis 0-0 0-0 0, Story 0-2 0-0 0, Jobe 0-1 1-2 1. Totals 20-37 18-27 61.
3-Pointers: Indiana 3-5 (Jones 2-2, Roth 1-2, Story 0-1), Wisconsin 7-14 (Bohannon 3-7, Taylor 2-2, Landry 1-2, Valentyn 1-1, Krabbenhoft 0-1, Leuer 0-1). Rebounds: Indiana 19 (Taber 5), Wisconsin 28 (Krabbenhoft 9). Assists: Indiana 7 (Moore 2, Jones 2), Wisconsin 19 (Landry 6). Turnovers: Indiana 16, Wisconsin 6. Steals: Indiana 1, Wisconsin 7.
Badgers Roll Over Hoosiers on Senior Day
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