BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — Ryan Evans had 13 points and seven rebounds and Traevon Jackson added 11 points as Wisconsin upset second-ranked Indiana 64-59 last night to take sole possession of the Big Ten lead.
The Badgers (13-4, 4-0) have won seven straight and beaten two top-15 opponents in four days. They now have 11 straight wins over the Hoosiers and five straight in Bloomington.
Cody Zeller scored 18 of his 21 points in the first half to lead Indiana (15-2, 3-1), which had a six-game winning streak and an 18-game home winning streak both end. Christian Watford added 11 points as the Hoosiers finished with fewer than 60 points for the first time this season.
The Badgers dictated the tempo by running down the shot clock and forcing the nation’s highest-scoring team into a precious possession-by-possession slugfest where baskets were scarce.
It was the perfect recipe for Wisconsin, which committed only eight turnovers and took advantage of seemingly every opportunity they had, especially in the second half as Hoosiers moaned and groaned about everything from missed shots to errant passes.
After Indiana opened the second half with a three-point play, it managed only six points over the next 6:34, a drought that allowed the Badgers to take control.
Wisconsin scored seven straight points to take a 38-37 lead with 15:58 to play then, after two Indiana free throws, got a three-point play from Jackson to start a 9-0 run. Mike Bruesewitz’s three-pointer just before the shot clock buzzer sounded capped the spurt, and the Badgers led 47-39 with 12:12 to play.
They extended the lead to 51-41, but when the Hoosiers tried to speed up the pace, things finally started going their way.
Indiana answered with four straight points, and after Evans made 1 of 2 free throws, the Hoosiers scored six straight point and trailed only 52-51 after Yogi Ferrell’s three-pointer with 4:40 to play.
But the Hoosiers never could take the lead, and the Badgers closed out the game with a 12-8 spurt.
It was Indiana’s first home loss since Jan. 12, 2012, when Minnesota beat the Hoosiers.
Zeller was nearly perfect in the first half, going 8 of 8 from the field and 2 of 3 at the free-throw line.