With 41 seconds left in regulation, sophomore forward Jerome Hunter slammed down a dunk to give IU men’s basketball a two-point lead. But Wisconsin senior guard D’Mitrik Trice answered 20 seconds later with a jumper to send the game to overtime.
In overtime, senior guard Al Durham converted on an and-one to put IU up by two points with 26 seconds left. But Trice answered yet again with another jumper to put the game in double overtime.
The second overtime didn’t end in the same fashion, however.
“Our execution late is what killed us,” IU head coach Archie Miller said. “At the end of the day we need to be a little sharper as we head down the home stretch.”
Wisconsin outscored IU 11-4 in the final extra time period to secure the 80-73 win Thursday. This is the 18th consecutive win for Wisconsin in Madison, Wisconsin. The Hoosiers haven’t beaten the Badgers at the Kohl Center since Jan. 25, 1998.
“Very hard fought game,” Miller said. “I’m proud of our guys and the way that we competed, in particular, the way that we were able to handle some adversity throughout the early part of the first half.”
IU was playing without standout sophomore guard Armaan Franklin, who sprained his ankle Monday against Maryland.
The Hoosiers got off to a poor start at the beginning of the game. They only scored six points and gave up six turnovers in the first six minutes.
On top of that, junior forward Race Thompson headed to the bench at the 16:30 mark after picking up two quick fouls. Hunter replaced him only to commit two fouls as well.
With IU’s bigs in foul trouble, Miller opted for a smaller and younger lineup at the end of the first half. That’s when the Badgers went on a 14-0 to give them the 23-11 lead over the Hoosiers.
Wisconsin senior forward Micah Potter continued to beat sophomore forward Trayce Jackson-Davis in the paint. With the freshmen on the floor, they struggled to rotate around the perimeter and contest shots — inviting Wisconsin to shoot wide-open 3-pointers.
Durham ended Wisconsin’s run with six minutes left in the half, and that’s when the team started to chip away at the deficit.
Hunter took the ball up strong in the paint to make it a 10-point game at the 4:16 mark. A few minutes later, freshman Anthony Leal hit back-to-back 3-pointers to send the Hoosiers into halftime only down 29-24.
“They stepped up when their name was called,” Durham said. “We most definitely needed them and we’re gonna need them going forward.”
Coming out of halftime, everyone on the team came out strong and continued to contribute.
“Just in general, a big key to this season and has been all season long is overall contributions and consistency,” Miller said. “And we’re getting better consistency right now from our guys.”
At the 8:44 mark, Jackson-Davis drove into the lane splitting his defenders, jump stopped and slammed it down for the and-one. He came down banging on his chest and then drained the free throw — making it a one-point game.
Not even a minute later, Hunter knocked down a 3-pointer to give IU its first lead since the first half.
Trice and senior forward Nate Reuvers kept the Badgers close when the Hoosiers tried to extend their lead. But it was the Hoosiers’ confidence to take shots that allowed them to overcome their slow first half.
After Wisconsin regained the lead, junior guard Rob Phinisee hit a 3-pointer to put IU up by two points. Trice answered with two free throws to make it a tie game with less than a minute left.
Despite the Hoosiers’ efforts, the game still ended in a tie.
They battled through the first overtime only for it to end in a nice tie at 69. But when it came to the second extra period, IU wasn’t playing at the same level. The team’s shots weren’t falling and they were fatigued. IU made just one of six field goal attempts in double overtime and let Wisconsin outscore them 11-4.
“At the end of the day, they stepped up,” Miller said. “Good teams do that, they adjust, they play all of the way through.”
Durham said they can’t dwell on this loss and have to shift their focus to Nebraska on Sunday.
“The Big Ten is a gauntlet,” Durham said. “We gotta be onto the next game. We gotta be ready for Nebraska.”