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Indiana at Wisconsin 2021

Dec 8, 2021; Madison, Wisconsin, USA; Wisconsin Badgers forward Tyler Wahl (5) works the ball against Indiana Hoosiers forward Race Thompson (left) during the first half at the Kohl Center. (Photo: Mary Langenfeld, USA TODAY Sports)

Indiana (7-2) likely heard all the talk entering Wednesday night in Madison. Not since 1998 had the Hoosiers defeated No. 22 Wisconsin (8-1) at the Kohl Center, and those demons came back to haunt IU as it let a 22-point first-half lead slip away as Wisconsin escaped with a 64-59 win.

The Hoosiers, led by

Race Thompson's 12 points and nine rebounds, received contributions from a smattering of different players, but a 22.6 percent shooting performance in the second half undid all of IU's first-half productivity. 

Parker Stewart (9 points) and 

Miller Kopp (7 points)

 led IU's 3-point barrage with four makes from deep, while All-American center 

Trayce Jackson-Davis was limited to just nine points on 10 shots to go with six rebounds in 31 minutes.

Wisconsin didn't find its offensive groove until the second half, shooting 35.5 percent from the floor and 21.7 percent from beyond the arc. However, its 83.3 percent display from the free-throw line anchored its second-half comeback. 

Johnny Davis was the lone Badger to score in double figures, finishing with a game-high 23 points and nine rebounds.

 Brad Davison and

Chris Vogt helped keep Wisconsin afloat, too, netting eight points and nine points, respectively.

Tyler Wahl  chipped in seven points and 12 rebounds.

Overall, it was an unfamiliar sight for Hoosier fans in Madison, at least in the first half. Indiana manhandled Wisconsin for the entirety of the opening 20 minutes, taking a 42-25 lead into halftime. At one point, IU's defense was so stifling that Wisconsin went on a first-half scoring drought spanning five minutes and 15 seconds, which eventually led to an IU advantage that grew to as large as 22 points.

At the crux of Indiana's strong first-half offense performance was the play of point guard 

Xavier Johnson. Though early foul trouble plagued Johnson in several games this season, the senior transfer entered the Kohl Center on a mission, and it resulted in him playing 27 minutes while flirting with a triple-double for a majority of the second half. Johnson's stat-sheet stuffing night ended with 10 points, seven rebounds, seven assists and three turnovers.

The Hoosiers' perimeter shooting also benefitted from Johnson's play, especially Stewart and Kopp. The wing duo sank their first four combined triples, with Stewart starting 3-of-3 from the perimeter. The graduate transfers' third three-pointer with 7:52 to play in the first half capped off a 29-6 scoring run for the Hoosiers as they took a commanding 29-11 lead.

That would remain the story for the entirety of the first half -- Indiana distributing at a high level, taking open shots and not allowing anything easy for the Badgers. It culminated in a 17-point lead at the break, with the Hoosiers shooting a sparkling 54.8 percent from the field and 5-of-8 from the perimeter, while the Badgers shot just 31.3 percent from floor and 1-of-10 from deep.

However, the proverbial curse of the Kohl Center eventual caught up with Indiana. With Wisconsin making several adjustments at halftime and ridding itself of a shooting slump that inevitably corrected itself, the Badgers stormed out to a 16-7 scoring run in the opening eight minutes of the second half. A pair of three-pointers from Davison and 

Jordan Davis (3 points), coupled with sloppy defensive rebound from the Hoosiers allowed the Badgers to cut the double-digit lead down to just nine points.

Wisconsin wasn't done either. In a complete role reversal from the first half, as Indiana's offense went ice-cold, Wisconsin got white-hot down the stretch. A Hoosier field-goal drought that spanned from 8:59 to 3:08 saw the Badgers cut the deficit down to just four points.

The bleeding only continued for Indiana as it mustered just three points in the final 8:59 -- free-throw from Jackson-Davis and a layup from Thompson -- while Wisconsin closed out the comeback on a 20-3 scoring run. A perfect 8-of-8 showing from the free-throw line for Wisconsin in the final three minutes allowed the Badgers to complete the remarkable come-from-behind victory.

The Hoosiers had plenty of chances down the stretch, though. A wide-open 3-point look for Stewart in the final minute clanked off the front iron, while Johnson missed the first of a one-and-one trip to the free-throw line to seal the Hoosiers defeat. For as good as Johnson was in the first half, his final 10 minutes consisted of wild layup attempts, fouls and a general carelessness with the ball.

To make Indiana's loss all the more disheartening, the 22-point lead was its largest advantage ever squandered against Wisconsin. 

With the loss, the Hoosiers fall to 7-2 overall and 1-1 in the Big Ten, while also dropping their second road game of the season.

Up next, Indiana returns home Sunday afternoon to host Merrimack at Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall.

Key plays and stretches:

  • (1H: 15:53 - IU leads 7-5) - 

    Parker Stewart 3-pointer + 

    Trayce Jackson-Davis layup --> IU 7-0 scoring run

  • (1H: 14:28 - IU leads 14-7) - 

    Johnson steal

    + Miller Kopp 3-pointer

    --> IU 14-2 scoring run

  • (1H: 9:18 - IU leads 24-9) - 

    Stewart 3-pointer --> IU 10-0 scoring run

  • (1H: 6:43 - IU leads 34-17) - 

    Stewart 

    Tamar Bates consecutive 3-pointer 

  • HALFTIME -- Indiana leads 42-25

  • (2H: 17:05 - IU leads 45-32) - 

    Johnny Davis dunk --> Wisconsin on a 12-3 scoring run

  • (2H: 13:24 - IU leads 49-40) - 

    Ben Carlson offensive rebound +

    Jordan Davis 3-pointer

  • (2H: 10:28 - IU leads 51-44) - 

    Brad Davison contested 3-pointer

  • (2H: 3:09 - IU leads 59-53) - Indiana field goal drought from 8:59 to 3:08

  • (2H: 1:18 - UW leads 60-59) - 

    Johnny Davis 3-pointer

    Source : https://247sports.com/college/indiana/Article/Recap-Indiana-Hoosiers-IU-IUBB-At-Wisconsin-UW-Badgers-College-Basketball-Big-Ten-Trayce-Jackson-Davis-Mike-Woodson-Johnny-Davis-Brad-Davison-Greg-Gard-177795437/

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