BLOOMINGTON – Yogi Ferrell and Noah Vonleh put the finishing touches on a run that put Indiana in position to upset No. 3 Wisconsin.
And Ferrell sealed the unlikely victory at the 3-point and free-throw lines Tuesday night as the Hoosiers knocked off No. 3 Wisconsin 75-72 in front 17,472 fans at Assembly Hall.
We’re going to take this win and be grateful for it, said Ferrell, whose team celebrated its second straight Big Ten win as students stormed the court.
The victory ended the Hoosiers’ 12-game losing streak to the Badgers, and IU (12-5, 2-2) knocked Wisconsin (16-1, 3-1) from the ranks of the unbeaten.
To me, the team needs this, said coach Tom Crean, who had been 0-10 against Wisconsin since coming to IU. We’ve had a long week from Michigan State (a 73-56 home loss) to Penn State (a 79-76 road win), but we got a lot better.
Ferrell and Vonleh teamed up to finish a 12-0 run that erased a 52-42 Badgers’ lead midway through the second half. Ferrell sank a one-hand floater in the lane and drew a foul by Traevon Jackson to cut the Hoosiers’ deficit to 52-50 with 9:44 to play.
Ferrell missed his free throw, but Vonleh was there for the putback to tie it at 52, and the freshman gave IU a 54-52 lead with a short jumper in the paint with 8:58 to play.
We were playing solid, but our crowd went to great, Crean said of the run. Our crowd was exactly what we’ve become accustomed to them being. We got down, and our crowd got us back. I thought that was the turning point in the game.
Wisconsin was able to retake the lead only once after that, but the Badgers drew even three times over the next six minutes until Ferrell delivered the final blow.
Ferrell, who had missed his first seven 3-pointers, drained a 3 with 2:53 to play for a 68-65 lead that the Hoosiers never gave back. Ferrell also knocked down two free throws with 18 seconds to play after Wisconsin had pulled within 73-72.
If I had to make one 3, I was glad it was the last one, Ferrell said.
Ferrell finished with 25 points, and Will Sheehey and Stanford Robinson each had 13. Vonleh had 10 points.
It’s something we’ve been working for all season, Sheehey said of the upset win. We’ve played some games where we’ve played some tough opponents and haven’t gotten it done. So we knew what it takes.
Really we just stuck to our game plan throughout the whole time.
A big part of IU’s game plan was attacking Wisconsin’s defense. The Hoosiers scored 52 of their points in the paint, mainly off penetration, and in a game with few fouls, IU went 7 for 10 on free throws.
We just wanted to keep attacking the rim, Ferrell said. We noticed they weren’t really helping off. We just wanted to go to the rim.
IU was also helped by Wisconsin making uncharacteristic mistakes. The Badgers committed 10 turnovers and went 1 for 4 at the foul line.
Jackson scored 21 for Wisconsin, and Ben Brust had 13. Frank Kaminsky and Josh Gasser each had 11, and Sam Dekker scored 10.
Hopefully, we’ll learn more from this and learn more in the next game and continue to have good practices and continue to improve, Crean said.