Through two overtimes, some questionable calls and wild momentum swings, Indiana was in position to break its 17-game, 22-year losing streak against No. 8 Wisconsin at the Kohl Center in Madison, Wisconsin.
But the Hoosiers were unable to come up with the one shot or one stop to finish the game off and ran out of gas in an 80-73 double-overtime loss to the Badgers on Thursday night.
Indiana (7-5, 2-3 Big Ten) had two chances to win, at the end of regulation and at the end of the first overtime. At the end of regulation, IU sophomore Trayce Jackson-Davis made a spin move past Wisconsin forward Nate Reuvers in the closing seconds but was unable to finish on a lefty bank-shot at the buzzer. Was Jackson-Davis fouled? Replays showed some contact, but a whistle wasn’t blown.
Then at the end of the first overtime, with the score tied at 69, IU guard Al Durham was tied up by Wisconsin guard Brad Davison on the busted set play, when point guard Rob Phinisee flashed too close to him.
“We wanted to give Al Durham an opportunity to see if he could maybe clear it out on that left side,” Indiana coach Archie Miller said. “I think they must have done a really good job of keeping him from being able to get by. But we didn’t execute out of the timeout to be able to keep the spacing, I think. The bottom line is they tied it up.
“Not being able to get that shot at the end of the first overtime was disappointing, but it ends up going to double overtime so we had our chances there as well.”
In the second overtime, with Wisconsin up 71-70, Tyler Wahl made back-to-back 3-pointers to extend the Badger lead to 77-70. By then, an IU team already playing without second-leading scorer Armaan Franklin was gassed. Jackson-Davis, who logged 49 minutes, posted his fourth double-double of the season with 23 points and 12 rebounds. Durham added 15 points and Phinisee added 10 points and six assists, while forward Jerome Hunter chipped in with 12 points off the bench. Durham and Phinisee both played 48 minutes.
“We had one mission, that was to win the game,” Durham said. “We didn’t come up here to play close. We didn’t come up here to play to almost lose. So that was the goal, from start to finish.”
D’Mitrik Trice led Wisconsin (10-2, 4-1) with 21 points and seven assists. Trice came up with two big shots, a jumper in the lane with 21.6 seconds left that tied the score at 61 and a floater in the lane over the outstretched arms of Jackson-Davis with 10.6 seconds left in the first overtime to tie the score at 69.
With junior forward Race Thomson and Hunter in foul trouble early, the game nearly got away from the Hoosiers. After Hunter sank a 3-pointer to give Indiana its first lead, 11-9, Wisconsin answered with a 15-0 run, taking advantage of defensive breakdowns with inexperienced players on the court. Ford scored eight points for Wisconsin during the run, including a transition layup that put the Badgers up 24-11.
But IU regrouped. Durham made a driving layup, then sank a 3-pointer to cut Wisconsin’s lead to 26-18 with 3:24 left in the half. Freshman Anthony Leal then provided a lift off the bench with back-to-back 3-pointers, the second at the end of the shot clock with 1:34 left to cut Wisconsin’s lead to 29-24 at halftime.
“I was proud of the way we competed, in particular the way that we were able to handle some adversity throughout the early part of the first half to grind away and stay in the ballgame,” Miller said.
Thompson picked up his second foul at the 16:29 mark of the first half but returned later in the half and wound up playing five minutes with two fouls. Hunter, meanwhile, picked up his third foul with 3:45 left in the first half.
In the second half, IU rallied. Jackson-Davis got on a roll, scoring eight straight to cut the Wisconsin lead to 48-47, then Hunter sank a 3-pointer to give the Hoosiers at 50-48. IU went up 56-50 on a short jumper in the lane from Phinisee, but the Hoosiers were unable to close the game out. Wisconsin went on a 7-0 run, going up 57-56. Phinisee hit a 3-pointer to put IU up 59-57, then Hunter got a dunk on a feed from Jackson-Davis to put IU up 61-59 with 41 seconds left.
But every time Indiana converted on a big shot, Wisconsin answered.
“They made a lot of winning plays at the end, and we didn’t make enough winning plays in the end, and that’s what it takes in this league,” Miller said.
Leal, Indiana’s 2020 Mr. Basketball, scored a career-high nine points, going 3-of-6 from 3-point range. “He showed the winner he is tonight,” Miller said. … The loss dropped IU to 0-4 against ranked teams. …. In his pregame radio show, Miller said Franklin will be out, “for the foreseeable future.” IU next plays Sunday at Nebraska.