Basketball can be a game of runs, and Tuesdayâ€™s contest was a perfect example of that as the Badgers and Hoosiers took turns making runs at each other all game long. However, it was No. 4 Wisconsin (20-2, 8-1 B1G) that had the advantage in those runs, winning 92-78.
Wisconsin got a true team effort, as all five starters scored in double figures. Senior forward Frank Kaminsky led the way with 23 points on 9 of 12 shooting for the day.
Joining him in double figures were Nigel Hayes (16), Bronson Koenig (15), Sam Dekker (14) and Josh Gasser (11).
Donâ€™t let the final scoreline fool you though, this game was well over by the time the final five minutes ticked off the game clock and it all had to do with a massive 26-6 run to start the second half.
Yet, it wasnâ€™t the only run that helped or mattered in a game full of them.
UW started the game on a 9-0 run and the Hoosiers responded with five points as the game stood at 11-5 through the first four minutes of action. That big man advantage came in the form of all 11 points coming from Kaminsky (7) and Hayes (4).
It would last all game long, and the Badgers simply dominated on the inside with itâ€™s trio of forwards.
Wisconsinâ€™s frontcourt was crucial in a 92-78 win over Indiana …take a look- pic.twitter.com/VfKd8nYzla
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) February 4, 2015
However, the Hoosiers found a way to frustrate Wisconsin by switching out of itâ€™s man-to-man defense and went to zone. After that the Hoosiers ran out to a 13-2 run to take itâ€™s first lead at 13-11.
The series of runs settled things down, and the two teams battled their way to the half in a relatively tight game. Instead of making major runs at each other, the two teams would trade six to eight point runs the rest of the half.
Not only did the runs help, but so did the height advantage up front as the Badgers duo of Frank Kaminsky and Nigel Hayes took over inside. The duo combined for 39 of Wisconsinâ€™s 92 points, with 25 of them coming in the first half alone.
It almost didnâ€™t matter though, as the Badgers gave up eight three pointers to Indiana in the first half alone.
Yet, it was hard to deny what the Badgers were able to do down low in terms of near gimmie buckets, and it showed quickly in that first half.
Hayes was in double figures in just over 10 minutes of action in the first half alone, scoring 11 on 4 of 4 shooting from the field. Kaminsky joined him shortly after, piling up 14 points and was a perfect 6 of 6 from the field.
Those two helped the Badgers get on runs in response to Indianaâ€™s ability to hit from the perimeter. As Indiana shot 8 of 11, Wisconsinâ€™s big men were answering every challenge on the other end.
It got so bad inside that ESPNâ€™s Seth Greenberg referred to the Hoosiers defense as “a sieve” during the first in-studio moment of the game.
To illustrate that point, Wisconsin hit 8 of 9 layups in the first half alone â€” or just under 50 percent of the 17 made field goals for UW in the half.
Wisconsinâ€™s inside advantage led to more field goal attempts and thus more points, as the Badgers led 42-36 at the half.
The theme of runs continued out of the half, as UW started off hot…but in a completely different way. Instead of getting it done inside, the Badgers got hot from the field:
btw, itâ€™s a 26-6 run to start the 2nd half for the #Badgers & yes, I know weâ€™re 8:13 in to the half already.
— Talking 10 (@Talking_10) February 4, 2015
Wisconsin nearly took its foot off the gas too soon though, as the Hoosiers continued to shoot well from the outside. The Hoosiers made five more three pointers in the second half, most of which came in a furious effort to somehow make a game of it.
Indiana attempted a bit of a comeback after UW went up by 30-plus points, eventually whittling the lead down to 82-68 with under four minutes to play.Â Kaminsky would take the team on his back, hitting an old fashioned three-point play and getting to the line on back-to-back possessions and push the lead back to 86-71.
The Hoosiers would attempt to hang around from there, but ultimately the 26-6 run to start the second half was too much to overcome for IU and the Badgers did enough to not let the lead slip under double digits.
Badger of the Game:Â Frank Kaminsky
26 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists â€” do we need to even say any more? How about 9 of 12 shooting from the field and 2 blocks as well?
Anyway you slice it, Kaminsky was the man for the Badgers in this game (even with his two-handed missed dunk).
Key Moment: 26-6 run
Like that was ever in doubt. Wisconsinâ€™s run to open the second half was a thing of beauty, with nearly anything and everything they put up going in during that time span. Wisconsinâ€™s ability to put the pedal to the floor and whip Indiana coming out of the intermission was rather impressive.
Up Next: @ Northwestern â€” 2/7 at 4:30pm CT (BTN)