In order for Wisconsin to get a huge road victory against Indiana, the Badgers were going to have to shoot the basketball well through out the game. Mission accomplished as the Badgers went 23-for-51 (45.1 percent) from the floor. Wisconsin was able to drive it against the Hoosiers and work the ball around the perimeter to get open shots.
Wisconsin had four players score in double figures against the Hoosiers. Ryan Evans led the way with 13 points, Traevon Jackson had 11 and Mike Bruesewitz and Sam Dekker each had 10 points. Wisconsin did a good job of taking care of the ball only turning it over eight times.
The Badgers were able to pull down six offensive rebounds in the game but were only able to translate their second chance opportunities into six points. Wisconsin made up for it from the free throw line, a big bugaboo all season for the Badgers this season. The Badgers went 11-for-14 from the charity stripe while Bruesewitz (4-for-6) and Jackson (5-for-5) helping seal the victory late.
Jared Berggren was not as dominant as he would have like due to foul trouble, but his thunderous dunk in the first half was a huge lift for the offense.
Wisconsin had no answer for Cody Zeller in the first half, seeing the super sophomore go 8-for-8 for 18 points. Berggren and his teammates were able to make an adjustment at the half and were able to limit Zeller to only five points (one made field goal). They made sure that they were going to cut off any passing lanes for Zeller.
Indiana had three players score in double figures besides Zeller's 23 (Christian Watford had 11 points and Victor Oladipo had 10 points). Indiana didn't shoot the basketball well going 20-for-54 (37 percent) from the floor.
Besides shutting down Zeller in the second half, Jackson was able to help shut down Yogi Ferrell and Jordan Hulls. Hulls came in averaging 11.6 points per game was held to four points and Ferrell shot 1-for-5 from three-point range. Jackson played good aggressive defense that helped him at times, but also got him in trouble and fouled out in the final minute.
The Wisconsin big men had trouble boxing out and preventing the Hoosiers from getting second chance opportunities, but made a big step forward in the second half. Indiana was able to grab 14 offensive rebounds, eight of which came in the first half. The Hoosiers were able to get 10 second-chance points in the game (four in the second half).
The Badgers defense was able to force the Hoosiers offense into 11 turnovers in the game, including four steals. With the Hoosiers coughing up the basketball, Wisconsin was able to get 13 points off of the turnovers.
Wisconsin had to play a near perfect game if it wanted to come away with a victory and, boy, did they. Wisconsin shot the basketball well and the Badgers were able to make the Hoosiers play their type of game.
Berggren had to be careful not to get into foul trouble in the second half because Frank Kaminsky had to leave the game in the first half after getting poked in the eye. Kaminsky only played three minutes in the game but knock down two three pointers to give Wisconsin an early lead.
Wisconsin was able to jump out to a 10-point lead in the second half but suffered through a scoring drought for seven minutes without knocking down a field goal. Indiana twice was able to cut the Badgers' lead to one but UW made plays down the stretch to hold off the Hoosiers' rally.
Despite Jackson fouling out, he put together another good game, knocking down critical shots late in the game and able to find his teammates. Jackson has been playing with much more confidence over these past two games and did a good job of helping lead this team to victory.
Evans came out efficient on the offensive end and finished 6-for 11 from the floor. Evans knocked down a critical, and difficult, shot late in the game to put Wisconsin up 56-53. In addition to playing well offensively, Evans was able to collect eight rebounds, two assists, one steal, and one block.
Game MVP: Mike Bruesewitz. Bruesewitz came up big with the way he was able to knock down some critical shots and his free throws to seal the game. You could tell Bruesewitz was having fun. He was going after loose basketballs and doing anything in his power to try and get Wisconsin the victory. Bruesewitz had 10 points on 2-for-5 shooting, had three rebounds, four assists and one steal.