Indiana men’s basketball fell apart in the second half against No. 22 Wisconsin and lost 64-59 Wednesday night at the Kohl Center in Madison, Wisconsin. After Indiana took a 42-25 lead into halftime and led by as many as 22 points in the first half, it scored just 17 points in the second.
“We played great, I thought, in the first half,” head coach Mike Woodson said on IU Radio Network after the game. “Unfortunately, you have to put two halves together to win a ball game. Once they made the run we just could not answer.”
The Hoosiers took 31 field goals in each half, making 17 in the first and just seven in the second. They missed their last six 3-point shots after starting 5-7 and went 3-9 from the free-throw line in the second half to finish 6-13.
“That’s something that we gotta fix, we gotta make free throws on the road when they’re tight games,” Woodson said.
Despite its collapse in the second half, Indiana led in almost every statistical category, including field goal percentage, 3-point field goal percentage and rebounding. Woodson said the team’s failure to make shots and make stops down the stretch was its downfall.
Senior forward Race Thompson led Indiana with 12 points and nine rebounds, shooting 6-11 from the field. Junior forward Trayce Jackson-Davis finished with 9 points, 3 of which came in the second, and shot 4-10 and pulled down six rebounds.
Senior guard Xavier Johnson finished with 10 points, seven rebounds and seven assists, but shot 1-9 in the second half and finished 4-16 from the field and 2-6 from the free-throw line. He missed the front end of a crucial one-and-one with 18 seconds left in the second half and the Hoosiers down 62-59.
Senior guard Parker Stewart and senior forward Miller Kopp went into halftime with 9 and 7 points, respectively. The duo went cold, however, and both finished the game with the same point totals they took into halftime.
Sophomore guard Johnny Davis led Wisconsin in the victory with 23 points on 8-17 shooting. He and senior guard Brad Davison outscored Indiana in the second half, combining for 18 points between the two of them.
Davis pulled down nine rebounds, blocked a shot and finished 6-7 from the free-throw line. He hit his lone 3-pointer of the game with 1:18 to play which put Wisconsin up 60-59, its first lead since the score of the game was 5-2.
“The biggest bucket tonight was Davis’ three to put them up, and we couldn’t answer after that,” Woodson said.
The Hoosiers led for more than 34 minutes against the Badgers and limited themselves to nine turnovers, but its ice-cold shooting stretch in the second half was too much to overcome. They have lost 19-straight games on the road against Wisconsin, a streak which dates back to 1998.
“I gotta help them figure out ways to win games like this,” Woodson said.
Indiana fell to 7-2 overall and 1-1 in the Big Ten this season. It will have the opportunity to bounce back when it plays Merrimack College at noon Sunday in Assembly Hall.