(8) Wisconsin 80, Indiana 73: Last word

No. 8 Wisconsin earned its 18th straight home win over Indiana with a gritty 80-73 victory in double overtime at the Kohl Center Thursday night.

Player of the Game: D’Mitrik Trice

Wisconsin’s senior guard came up clutch again on Thursday night. Trice hit a floater with 21.1 seconds left in regulation to tie the game and then hit a step-back jumper with 11.1 seconds left in overtime to tie the game again. With Trice on the floor, and he played a career-high 47 minutes, the Badgers were 14 points better than the Hoosiers. On the game, he finished with 21 points, seven assists and three rebounds to help the Badgers improve to 4-1 in Big Ten play.

The good: Tyler Wahl

Coming into the game, the sophomore was 2-for-9 from beyond the arc. And through the first 45-plus minutes of Thursday night he hadn’t attempted one. But with Wisconsin leading 71-70 with 3:24 left in the second overtime, Wahl pulled up from the corner and buried a 3-pointer. The next possession down he got another good look and knocked it down from the wing. The shots served as the closing punch in Wisconsin’s win.

The not so good: The second half defense

The Badgers had no answer for Indiana for much of the second half, especially in the paint. Trayce Jackson-Davis was nearly unstoppable, hitting all seven of his shots to open the half, scoring 16 points and grabbing seven rebounds. Indiana as a team was shooting 76.5% with 6:38 left in the game and had taken a 54-50 lead.

That’s when Greg Gard decided enough was enough and went to his best defensive lineup — Trice, Wahl, Brad Davison, Nate Reuvers and Jonathan Davis. That group played nearly the entire rest of the game, including both overtimes, as Indiana hit just seven of its final 20 shots.

Stat of the Game: 2

Indiana came into the game averaging eight offensive rebounds per game, but the Badgers held the Hoosiers to just two on the night. That’s the fewest Wisconsin has allowed in a game since giving up only one in a win over Georgetown in 2016.

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In Case You Missed It

— Wisconsin was playing its first game since New Year’s Eve after its game against Penn State last Sunday was postponed due to COVID-19 issues with the Nittany Lions.

— Wisconsin wore its alternate uniforms for a fourth time and moved to 4-0.

— After a tough start, Nate Reuvers finished with 14 points, including 6-for-6 from the free throw line. Trice and Davison went to Reuvers early in the game to give him a pep talk. Trice said he couldn’t say exactly what they told him, but it involved him getting his head out of his butt.

— Jonathan Davis played a career-high 41 minutes. He didn’t shoot it well (2-for-11), but he as a key defender and grabbed a team-high 8 rebounds.

What’s next?

Wisconsin (10-2, 4-1) will hit the road on Tuesday to face No. 10 Michigan (10-0, 5-0)

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