The Washington Times-Herald

Sports

March 9, 2012

Badgers beat IU in Big 10 tournament

INDIANAPOLIS — Rob Wilson’s timely shooting put Wisconsin coach Bo Ryan at the head of his class.

Wilson scored a career-high 30 points, leading the 14th-ranked Badgers past No. 15 Indiana 79-71 in Friday’s Big Ten tournament quarterfinals.

It was Ryan’s 266th win since coming to Madison in 2002, breaking a tie for most career wins with Harold “Bud” Foster.

Wisconsin (24-8) faces No. 8 Michigan State in Saturday’s semifinals. The Spartans, one of three teams to share the regular-season league crown, defeated Iowa 92-75 in Friday’s first game.

Three Indiana players — Christian Watford, Jordan Hulls and Cody Zeller — each scored 17 points. The loss ended the Hoosiers’ five-game winning streak and came just hours after the school announced senior guard Verdell Jones would miss the rest of the season with a torn ACL in his right knee.

Ryan’s record-breaking win came on a day Wilson will never forget, either.

The senior guard who averaged only 3.1 points and 10.7 minutes — and never put up more than 13 points in a college game — did it all with an uncanny shooting touch. He went 7 of 10 from 3-point range despite coming in with a career percentage of 27.8 from beyond the arc. He was 11 of 16 overall.

Indiana (25-8) had no answers for Wilson or the rest of Wisconsin’s 3-point shooters. The Badgers tied the Big Ten tournament record by making 13 of 26 from long range. Purdue was the most recent of the four teams to achieve the feat. The Boilermakers made 13 in Thursday night’s first-round game against Nebraska.

And it didn’t take long to see how the game would develop.

Wisconsin jumped out quickly, making seven 3-pointers in the first 10 minutes with most coming on wide-open looks. It allowed the Badgers to take a 28-18 lead, and forced the Hoosiers to play catch-up all day.

Indiana closed to 36-31 at the break, but every time it got close in the second half, Wilson or another Wisconsin shooter had an answer.

Indiana has now lost 10 straight to the Badgers.

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