The No. 13 Wisconsin Badgers started off 2017 with a tough road test, playing their second Big Ten game of the season at the famous Assembly Hall against the No. 25 Indiana Hoosiers. Wisconsin came in 1-0 in the conference after defeating Rutgers at home, and Indiana came in 0-1 after losing to Nebraska in Bloomington. The Badgers would not accept defeat, handing Indiana their third loss in a row.
This highly anticipated, nationally-televised contest got off to a dream start for the experienced Badgers. The team started the game on a 13-0 run, thanks to nine points from Bronson Koenig on 3/3 from deep.
At the first media timeout, Wisconsin had still only missed two shots, and led 16-4 at Assembly Hall, but that didn’t last much longer. Indiana came out of the timeout on a 6-0 run, cutting the lead to 16-10.
With the Badgers leading 28-22 at the 7:56 mark, Koenig was subbed out with two fouls, which really hurt the 13th-ranked team in the country. The Hoosiers put on an 11-4 run, and cut the deficit to 38-37 after getting off to such a slow start.
Wisconsin was led by Koenig with nine and Ethan Happ with eight points at the break, while James Blackmon Jr. led Indiana with 10 at the break.
The Badgers shot only 1/6 from the free throw line in the first half, and scored just three second-chance points compared to the Hoosiers’ 13.
Under three minutes into the second half, Koenig picked up his third foul and was subbed out for freshman D’Mitrik Trice. It did not take Trice long to make an impact, knocking down a three on his first possession.
Shortly after Koenig, Happ picked up his third foul in the second half. Indiana tied the game at 51 thanks to terrific play from De’Ron Davis off the bench, who scored at will in the post, leading the Hoosiers to a 7/9 shooting stretch.
Happ did it all for the Badgers in the second half, who also thrived off of Koenig’s lights out shooting from deep. Senior leader Zak Showalter really stepped up in the final six minutes, scoring huge buckets on back to back possessions, including a clutch three.
With under three minutes left in regulation, Wisconsin star big man Ethan Happ picked up his fourth foul, with his team leading 66-61 and the home team Hoosiers headed to the line in the bonus.
The Hoosiers needed a stop late, but senior Vitto Brown stepped up and hit a clutch three for the Badgers to put in the dagger. Wisconsin closed it out, and defeated the Hoosiers at Indiana, 78-65.
Happ led the way with 19 and six boards, while Koenig put up 17, and the starters for the Badgers combined to shoot 25/45 (55.6%) from the field.
Nigel Hayes finally won at Indiana.
The Badgers (13-2, 2-0) will face Purdue (12-3, 1-1) in West Lafayette on Sunday at 3:30 p.m. CT. The game will be aired on CBS.