Ryan Evans led the team in both points and rebounds, with 13 and eight respectively, and Traevon Jackson added a solid 11 to help orchestrate one of the season’s biggest upsets in the Badgers’ 64-59 win at Indiana on Tuesday night.
Wisconsin, after struggling to find itself following the season-ending torn ACL suffered by starting point guard Josh Gasser, was never supposed to be here. Generally a deathly slow-paced, methodical team that struggles to put the ball in the basket any more than 20 times a ballgame, coach Bo Ryan’s squad looked even worse to start the season without Gasser.
On Tuesday night, the Badgers were supposed to simply ride into Bloomington, bow to the greatness of 7-footer Cody Zeller, and leave with their tail between their legs.
Instead, with Gasser watching proudly from the sidelines, the Badgers improved to 4-0 in the Big Ten, ahead of Michigan, Ohio State, Indiana, Illinois and Michigan State — all teams ranked ahead of them in the polls.
Once again, Wisconsin controlled the pace of the ballgame, grinding Indiana’s high-powered offense down to a halt.
Wooden Award finalist Zeller may have gone off for 23 points and 10 rebounds, but he only squeaked out five in the decisive second half. His Hoosiers were held to under 60 points for the first time all season. Further, only one bench player for Indiana scored any points at all, Jeremy Hollowell only scored a measly two points.
The Badgers may have slowed down the pace of the game, but the team did take the time to show off a little bit. Wisconsin bagged seven three-pointers to Indiana’s three, and Evans and Jackson were the young men who played big in the game’s biggest moments.
Both hit massive jumpers with high degrees of difficulty as time wound down in the basketball game.
In the end, Bo knows defense, but now his entire team is starting to learn how to win.