BLOOMINGTON, IN — The Hoosiers won a close, double overtime battle in Assembly Hall against the tough Wisconsin Badgers 75-73. Romeo Langford hit a clutch, game-winning layup on Khalil Iverson to secure the victory with .8 seconds left. Langford finished with 22 points and 7 rebounds in 45 grueling minutes. Ethan Happ finished as Wisconsin’s leading scorer with 23 points while also grabbing 11 rebounds. Additionally, it is interesting to note that Race Thompson finished the game with 21 minutes.
IU shot well to begin the game, making 50% of their shots. Unfortunately, Wisconsin was also 50% from the field. The turnover bug hit IU as well, Juwan Morgan with 2 at the under 16 timeout. De’Ron Davis went to the locker room with stomach issues but returned to the lineup shortly after.
In 2 minutes, Evan Fitzner picked up 2 fouls, prompting the increased usage of Juwan Morgan, Justin Smith, and Race Thompson.
After both teams shot well early, both defenses began to adjust. Wisconsin had a 5-point lead until IU fought back and cut it to 1 at the under 8 timeout. Devonte Green started making an impact off the bench. Wisconsin only had two team fouls with about 4 minutes left in the first half, whereas the Hoosiers had 7.
At the under 4, both teams were tied and had been trading leads back and forth. Khalil Iverson and Romeo Langford both started getting hot from the field, which is interesting because they were covering each other during the game.
To close the half, the Hoosiers offense caught fire, pushing the lead to 8 points through the shooting of Robert Phinisee, Langford, and Smith’s inside play. However, Wisconsin fought back, and cut the lead to 4. IU was up 33-29 at half. Leading scorers were Al Durham and Khalil Iverson for their respective teams. Davis played 1 minute for IU in the first half.
IU’s offense heated up to begin the second half and pushed their lead to 10 points via Morgan and Smith inside. It felt like the Hoosiers thrived in transition compared to running their offensive sets. IU pushed its lead to 12, as their offense continued to capitalize inside. However, after only hitting one three pointer out of nine attempts in the first half, Wisconsin hit two, one of them by Brad Davison with 11 minutes left in the second half, which were his first points of the night.
During the next four minutes, Wisconsin’s offense continued to heat up and took the lead at the under 8 timeout. The Badgers went on a 12-1 run, while the Hoosiers went on a 3:44 scoring drought. Juwan Morgan had 4 fouls at this point in the game.
With 5:09 left, Juwan Morgan was elbowed in the face by Ethan Happ, leading to a flagrant 1 call on Happ. Langford hit two free throws to tie the game, and De’Ron Davis hit a free throw to take the lead back after losing it earlier. Wisconsin also picked up its 10th team foul.
Both teams continued to trade buckets and leads back and forth. Happ continued to be a force inside for Wisconsin, but IU kept scoring through Davis and Langford. With 2 minutes left, however, Morgan fouled out for IU, who finished with 9 points off 3-12 shooting, and 15 rebounds, a career high. Smith subbed in for him to close the game.
With 9 seconds left Rob Phinisee hit a slicing layup to take a key 2 point lead. Unfortunately, with 5.3 seconds left, Wisconsin tied the game up at 62 through clutch free throws by D’Mitrik Trice. Phinisee failed to hit the game winning three at the buzzer, pushing the game to overtime. The Hoosiers would go into OT without one of their best players, Morgan, and with his replacement, Smith at 4 fouls.
Race Thompson reappeared into the game after Smith fouled out to being OT. Thompson then picked up his first points of the game to tie the game at 65. With about 20 seconds left, after Davison missed a wide open 3 out of a timeout, Langford cut his way into the lane with a huge layup, extending the lead to 3. However, soon after, D’Mitrik Trice tied the game once again with an impressive long ball. With about 2 seconds left, Al Durham prematurely took a deep three pointer and missed. Both teams would head into double OT.
To begin double OT, Wisconsin went 0-4 at the line, and both teams started out cold shooting. Finally, with about 2:15 to go, Langford hit a leaning floater to take the lead.
After Wisconsin failed to take the lead on a point-blank miss by Iverson, the Hoosiers faced an impromptu full court press, yet somehow pushed it ahead to Davis for a bucket and the foul, which was on Happ and was his 5th. Davis missed the free throw and couldn’t push the lead to four. Trice pushed the ball down the court, drew a three point foul with about 10 seconds left, and made all three free throws to tie the game once again.
With 9 seconds left, Langford pushed the ball up the court after an Archie Miller timeout, and hit the game winning layup with .8 seconds left. Wisconsin’s subsequent inbound pass by Davison was dropped, and Indiana finally pulled off their first home win since defeating Illinois on January 3rd.
Next up, the Hoosier rematch the Spartans in Assembly Hall on March 2nd at 12:00 pm eastern time on Fox. Michigan State is ranked 4th by Kenpom and AP number 6. The Spartans are undoubtedly the hottest team in the conference, as they are winners of five straight. They are coming off their biggest win of the season at Ann Arbor, winning without big man Nick Ward. The Hoosiers will try to sweep the season series.