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Indiana stuns No. 3 Wisconsin

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Hoosiers end 12-game losing streak to Badgers

Wednesday, January 15, 2014 - 1:33 am

BLOOMINGTON – Unranked Indiana did what its top-ranked version never could, what no Hoosier squad had done since 2007.

It beat Wisconsin.

Tuesday night's 75-72 win over the nation's third-ranked and previously unbeaten team, which caused students to rush Assembly Hall's Branch McCracken Court, ended a 12-game losing streak to the Badgers.

"It's something we've been working for all season," senior Will Sheehey said. "We've played some games where we've played tough opponents and haven't gotten it done. We knew what it takes and we stuck to our game plan."

Yogi Ferrell led the way with 25 points, and he had plenty of help as the Hoosiers (12-5 overall, 2-2 in the Big Ten) surged down the stretch.

Wisconsin (16-1, 3-1) couldn't stop it.

"This program didn't need this," coach Tom Crean said, "but this team did."

Ferrell was a second-half monster, ignoring an 0-7 three-point-shooting start to hit one to snap a 65-65 tie and give the Hoosiers the lead for good.

Sheehey led like he hadn't all season, finishing with 13 points and six rebounds. He, too, had a key second-half three-pointer.

"Yogi Ferrell and Will Sheehey hit two big threes," Wisconsin coach Bo Ryan said. "Defensively on the threes I thought we did a decent job, but (IU's) getting into the driving lines was what really hurt us."

Noah Vonleh and Stanford Robinson played like veterans rather than freshmen. Vonleh had 10 points, five rebounds, four blocks and a steal. Robinson had a career-high 13 points and five rebounds in 24 off-the-bench minutes.

Beyond that, Indiana committed a season-low nine turnovers, one fewer than Wisconsin.

"It's something we work on every day," Sheehey said. "It's guys continuing to move the ball, play smart."

The Badgers got 21 points from Traevon Jackson, 16 in the second half.

"We needed a little bit more help scoring of the bench," Ryan said, "but even more than that, we needed help defensively from other players. The guys who struggled will get better defensively as we progress."

The Hoosiers didn't buckle when Wisconsin shot its way to leads of 18-10 in the first half, and 52-42 in the second.

Last Saturday's Penn State lesson, when Indiana rallied from a 15-point deficit, was retained.

Wisconsin opened with a 7-for-7 shooting barrage to take that 18-10 lead. The Hoosiers, pushing the pace non-stop, rallied for a tie.

They kept it up. By halftime they had one more assist (8-7) and one less turnover (5-6), big reasons why they trailed just 35-34.

The Badgers weren't rattled. With Jackson scoring 11 points in a six-minute burst, they opened a 10-point lead. By that point they were shooting 61 percent from the field, 50 percent from three-point range. Credit their finely tuned swing offense rather than criticize Indiana's defense.

The Hoosiers responded with a 12-0 run to take the lead.

A potential Badger blowout win had become a nail biter.

Ferrell hit big shot after big shot, trying to will a Hoosier victory. Robinson drove for layups against a defense designed to prevent them.

With 28.5 seconds left, IU clung to a 73-72 lead.

Ferrell hit a pair of free throws with 18 seconds left. Wisconsin twice missed potential tying three-pointers.

The Hoosiers had the upset.