Goshen News, Goshen, IN

Sports

March 16, 2013

COLLEGE BASKETBALL: Badgers prevail

Indiana struggles in semifinal loss to Wisconsin

CHICAGO — Ryan Evans jumps when he shoots free throws. Ben Brust looks as if he just got his driver’s license, and Mike Bruesewitz’s shaggy hair draws snickers every time Wisconsin goes on the road.

The Badgers may not look like a top team, but they sure play like one.

Evans scored 16 points in a terrific all-around performance and No. 22 Wisconsin upset No. 3 Indiana 68-56 in the semifinals of the Big Ten tournament Saturday.

“We’re playing our best basketball at the end of the season, and that’s what you want to do,” Bruesewitz said.

The Badgers allowed only seven points after the top-seeded Hoosiers pulled within one with 9:45 left. They earned their 12th consecutive win against Indiana, tying a record for any school against the powerhouse program, and will play Ohio State or Michigan State in Sunday’s final.

“There are just things in this game, no matter how you try to explain them, they defy explanation,” Ryan said, shrugging away Wisconsin’s long run against Indiana. “But we have players who are willing to work, to listen, to buy in.”

Brust added 12 points for Wisconsin (23-10), which has won three straight and six of eight. Sam Dekker scored nine of his 11 points in the second half, including seven in a row during one impressive burst.

Christian Watford scored 14 points for Indiana (27-6), and Cody Zeller had 13 points and 11 rebounds. Victor Oladipo scored 10, but was 4 for 12 from the field.

The Hoosiers, who won the regular-season conference title, now have to wait until Sunday to see if they did enough to earn a coveted No. 1 seed for the NCAA tournament.

“Obviously we wanted to get this win today,” Zeller said. “We’ll learn from it, we’ll figure out what we did wrong. We’ll make the corrections and be ready for next week.”

Zeller and Oladipo each made a couple of big plays when Wisconsin tried to pull away in the second half. Zeller scored the first five points in a 10-0 run that gave the Hoosiers a 41-40 lead with 13:27 remaining. Oladipo soared in for a big offensive rebound and made a pull-up jumper during a quick six-point burst that got Indiana within one with 9:45 remaining.

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