Badgers beats IN 65-60, now first place IN Big Ten

Wisconsin coach Greg Gard

Wisconsin coach Greg Gard

The two teams were a combined 40-97 from the floor and the difference in the game was the free throw line. Bryant (four second-half turnovers) and Johnson (three) also had ball security issues, resulting in 15 in turnovers that led to 16 Wisconsin points.

"Our post presence (with Happ) was able to create some freedom on the perimeter", Badgers coach Greg Gard said. "You can't just play them business as usual, and we didn't".

The Hoosiers picked up the slack after coming up empty its first eight possessions of the game, with 0-of-6 shooting and two turnovers. Had it rimmed out, or left his hands too late, IU would've lost. "Early on in the season, I think he fell in the trap that shooting will get (him) into the rotation". But he's also struggled with turnovers and inconsistent offense, on a team hit by multiple critical injuries. It's a pivotal week if IN wants to finish.500 or better IN conference play. Making Wednesday's performance - given the indefinite and continued absence of James Blackmon Jr.

"We have to be different right now and we don't have a whole lot of experience", Crean said. "It was just a matter of getting in the gym and isolating some of that".

While Indiana was lacking in star power, it made up for it by playing hard.

Newkirk played a solid game for IN, delivering critical second-half contributions to keep the Hoosiers close.

"A couple of possessions didn't go our way and a couple possessions went their way", Crean said. And it has been something that worked well for IU as recently as a year ago, when they had an older roster.

"You just can't let them pick you apart with their passing because they're such a great passing team, " Crean said. "Tim does a great job of, he really connects with those guys, and he helps build confidence".

Despite going 7-for-10 over the last 10:17 of the game, the Badgers went 5-for-6 over a three minute, 39 seconds stretch.

"We have to communicate our switches", he said. "I have to credit him". The Hoosiers played their third straight game without junior guard James Blackmon Jr., who suffered a leg injury on January 26th against MI. But the Hoosiers also have suffered a 30-point loss to MI and a 13-point loss to Northwestern. Can he carry that north?

Happ followed Pritzl's basket by finishing in the paint the next trip down the court, and Hayes answered an in score with a three-point play that gave the Badgers a 42-35 lead with 8:55 remaining.

Senior guard Bronson Koenig delivered 11 points for Wisconsin (20-3, 9-1 Big Ten), which shot 39.6 percent from the field to sweep the two-game series over Indiana.

And it will hope Newkirk's work with the shot doctor, his improvement at both ends and a career showing are signs of things to come, and a player ready to take a tangible step forward over the remainder of the regular season. "We did a good job of carrying out some of the things we wanted to do".

Follow IndyStar reporter Zach Osterman on Twitter: @ZachOsterman. Tipoff is set around 8 p.m. on the Badgers Radio Network. In the first 10 conference games, IU had only held one other opponent under 65 points. The Hoosiers can't afford a similar beginning Sunday.

IN (15-9, 5-6) stayed within two or three possessions for much of the final 30 minutes.

· Newkirk's strong play continues: IN redshirt junior point guard Josh Newkirk picked up right where he left off IN Wednesday's triple overtime win over Penn State.

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