Hoosiers get Badgers off their backs
By Andy Proffet Post-Tribune correspondent January 14, 2014 9:38PM
Indiana guard Kevin "Yogi" Ferrell, center, celebrates with fans on the basketball floor after an NCAA basketball game against Wisconsin in Bloomington, Ind., Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2014. Indiana won 75-72. (AP Photo/R Brent Smith)
Updated: February 17, 2014 8:13AM
BLOOMINGTON — One would think snapping a 12-game losing streak to one of the last four undefeated teams in the nation would prompt more reaction from Indiana coach Tom Crean and his players, something akin to the court-rushing by Indiana’s students.
But after IU’s come-from-behind 75-72 win over No. 3 Wisconsin Tuesday night, Crean was pointing out that the Hoosiers’ previous win, at Penn State, was just as necessary to his young team’s growth.
“This team needed this. This team needed Saturday, too,” Crean said after the Hoosiers (12-5, 2-2 Big Ten) rallied from a 10-point second-half deficit Tuesday night. “And the coaches I heard from the last couple days, they knew how big a win that was because people know how tough Penn State is, they know how tough it is to go in there and they know how tough it is when you’re down 15. So that was huge. And coming back and getting this was really good.”
The Hoosiers had to rally from a 15-point first-half deficit against the Nittany Lions on Saturday. The Badgers (16-1, 3-1) never built quite that big a lead on Tuesday.
But considering Wisconsin’s streak of success against the Hoosiers, a 52-42 lead with 13:28 to play looked insurmountable.
An Indiana team hadn’t beaten a Wisconsin team since 2007. The Badgers had won five straight at Assembly Hall, the longest winning streak ever for an opponent at the arena.
“Yogi (Ferrell) and I have played in a bunch of games like that, but for the younger guys to know that the game is not over at a certain point really helps,” Will Sheehey said.
Sheehey didn’t feel like the Badgers played much different than in previous games.
“They really stick to their principles and do what they do,” he said. “We stuck to ours today and didn’t try to have one guy take it over or anything.
“The way the ball moved, it’s tough to beat us.”
After Sam Dekker’s 3-pointer put Wisconsin ahead 52-42, the Hoosiers answered with a 12-0 run to take the lead. The game would be tied three more times before Ferrell finally put the Hoosiers ahead for good with a 3-pointer that made the score 68-65.
Ferrell had been 0-for-7 from beyond the arc before that make.
“I felt like most of my 3s kind of felt good, they just weren’t going in,” Ferrell said. “So if I had to make one, I was glad it was that one.”
Wisconsin coach Bo Ryan said there were “six or seven possessions in a row that we gave up” to help IU’s comeback.
“When you’re on the road, you can’t do that,” Ryan said. “And when you do give those up, you have to find another way to win.”
Ferrell finished with a game-high 25 points. Sheehey and Stanford Robinson each scored 13 and Noah Vonleh added 10 points.
Traevon Jackson led Wisconsin with 21 points. Ben Brust scored 13, Frank Kaminsky and Josh Gasser each added 11 and Dekker scored 10.