Check out these numbers that are staring back up at me from the stat sheet:
Indiana’s 8-of-26 from the field, including 1-of-8 from 3-point. It has been to the line only four times and turned the ball over 11 times (3 times by D.J. White).
Wisconsin hasn’t been much better, though. It’s shooting 11-for-31 and is 2-of-11 from 3-point.
Also, Jamarcus Ellis (9) and D.J. White (8) out-rebounded the whole Wisconsin team (16).
If the Hoosiers can take care of the ball this half they could make this game come down to the final few minutes.
WISCONSIN 30, INDIANA 20 (HALF)
The Badgers get an easy tip right before the buzzer. Flowers just jumped up and got to the ball before Stemler even thought about reaching up that way.
Indiana’s got a healthy edge in rebounding but Wisconsin is getting to enough loose balls to stay safely ahead in this one.
We’ll have more when we’ve reviewed the stats.
WISCONSIN 25, INDIANA 15 (3:26)
D.J. White’s octupus-arm rebound — did you see how he flashed that limb out there and wrapped it around the ball — allowed him to the get to the line and stem what could have been a Wisconsin run. The fact that he then went and got a dunk putback after his missed his second free throw swayed the game a little toward Indiana. The Badgers turned the ball over.
But then Bassett reversed to Stemler, and he shot 3-pointer that had no chance.
I’m fairly sure Indiana has at least 10 turnovers already. Did you notice that when Sampson pulled both Gordon and White — replacing them with Crawford and Thomas — he went to a 2-3 zone. That seems to be an effective way to use both those guys, as Thomas can clog in the middle and Crawford is quick, if not always in the right spot. Giving those two some freedom to just play at that end seems like a smart idea.
WISCONSIN 21, INDIANA 12 (7:38)
What we know so far:
The refs will let D.J. White get away with some physical stuff under the basket.
Trevon Hughes is really quick, and Wisconsin knows how to get him space.
WISCONSIN 14, INDIANA 6 (11:43)
Gordon feeds Mike White again and White loses the ball, then is called for his second foul. He’s yanked in favor of Stemler.
At the other end, Greg Stiemsma gets an easy tip as Indiana is being passive on the boards again.
Also, D.J. White missed a shot over Stiemsma. The Badgers didn’t move any help that way; White just flat missed a shot. He needs to keep going at the big center.
WISCONSIN 12, INDIANA 6 (14:14)
Gordon hits a basket from the baseline but misses a deep 3.
Hughes knocks down a deep 3 with a hand in his face and Brian Butch converts an offensive rebound into two points.
Who steps up with a bucket for Indiana right now?
WISCONSIN 7, INDIANA 4 (15:48)
Mike White puts Indiana on the board after taking a nice feed from Eric Gordon.
But then he tries a mid-range shot — can’t be what Sampson wanted — and then fouled Landry. I guess Sampson wants him guarding Landry but I’m sure Bo Ryan will try to exploit that.
Also in this first stanza, Jamarcus Ellis made one of the better blocks I’ve ever seen.
And if you want the Gordon report, it is this: Gordon’s clearly bothered by the left hand. He’s running around screens instead of through them and appears to be holding his wrist out awkwardly on defense. He’ll adjust as the game goes on but he’s clearly not going to be totally comfortable.
Hoosiers bring the regulars: Armon Bassett, Eric Gordon, Jamarcus Ellis, Mike White and D.J. White.
By the way, it’s full in here now. And loud. Incredible atmosphere for a college basketball game. As usual. Not that Indiana students need to hear this, but it makes a huge difference when the students are seated together.
Here’s what I’ll be watching in the first few minutes of this one:
1. Obviously, how well Gordon can adjust to having that wrist injury will be the main focus of all Indiana fans. He didn’t seem to be having much trouble with it while shooting, but how will he fare on defense or when he drives to the lane and draws contact?
2. What will Indiana do to try to handle Marcus Landry, the 6-7 hyper forward for the Badgers. Sampson said earlier this week that Landry will be a tough assignment for Indiana. My guess is that Jamarcus Ellis starts the game covering him.
3. Will Wisconsin zone Indiana? Connecticut was able to really collapse on the Hoosiers, which took both Gordon and D.J. White out of the game early and neither found their shot. Seems like Wisconsin may be able to do the same thing, especially with a home crowd.
The crowd, by the way, is sparse here. That’s unusual for this building, which is almost always full. The weather certainly delayed our trip here â€” which was only two miles â€” and I’m wondering if the roads outside are clogged with fans trying to get inside.
A little more than an hour before tip-off, Eric Gordon is warming up with his teammates at the Kohl Center and is shooting well despite a wrap on his injured left wrist.
With a graduate assistant guarding him, Gordon hit the first four shots I saw him take, all of them close to or behind the 3-point line. He was also dribbling the ball with his left hand, seemingly without any problems. He looks like he’ll be fine as long as he doesn’t injure it further in tonight’s game.
INDIANA (13-8, 6-3) trounces WISCONSIN (10-10, 3-7), 86-62
A decisive win for IU at home over a team that was picked to finish second in the Big Ten before losing six of it’s first seven league games.
Wisconsin, Jolene Anderson, 23 points (all in second half), 6 rebounds, Mariah Dunham, 9 points, 6 rebounds
Indiana, Whitney Thomas, 16 points, 7 assists (career high), 3 steals, Kim Roberson, 13 points, 6 rebounds, 5 steals, 3 assists, Jamie Braun, 12 points, 9 rebounds, Amber Jackson, 15 points, 2 blocks, Haylie Linn, 15 points
Indiana 48, Wisconsin 25: Whitney Thomas knocks down a pair of free throws with just under 17 minutes to go in the game.
Indiana 52, Wisconsin 28: Timeout with 15;33 to play. Amber Jackson gets a layup to fall for the Hoosiers and freshman Lin Zastrow of the Badgers is whistled for traveling at the other end. That makes 20 turnovers for Wisconsin in this game.
Indiana 54, Wisconsin 30: Jolene Anderson, averaging 19.9 points per outing, scores her first two points on a soft one-handed jumper…14:42 to go
Indiana 56, Wisconsin 36: Anderson makes two quick buckets to bring the Badgers back within 20. She now has six points, all in the second half…13:38 remains
Indiana 63, Wisconsin 39: Nikki Smith’s 3!!! ties her with Cyndi Valentin for third on the Hoosiers’ all-time career list (172).
Indiana 63, Wisconsin 44: Anderson all of a sudden scores on two straight Badger possessions, one a nifty little jump stop shot in the right of the lane and then a nothing but net 3!!! Anderson has 11 points now, all in the second half.
Indiana 69, Wisconsin 49: It’s Anderson again with a deep 3!!!. Anderson has 16 points. Whitney Thomas responds with a jumper from the left corner of the key. Thomas has 16 points as well.
Indiana 78, Wisconsin 55: There’s 3:20 to go in this one and IU has a safe lead. Five Hoosiers have hit double digits in the scoring column.
Hoosier walkon Lydia Serfling checked into the game with just over 2 minutes to go in the ballgame. She gets a warm welcome from the crowd. It sure is a good thing the Hoosiers shut down Jolene Anderson in the first half of this game. The Badger senior has scored 23 points, all after the break.
Indiana 9, Wisconsin 4: Jamie Braun fires a 3!!! for the Hoosiers to give them a slight cushion with 15:44 to go in the first half. Whitney Thomas has two early buckets underneath and leads the floor with four points.
Indiana 16, Wisconsin 9: The Badgers’ Janese Banks, from Indianapolis Ben Davis, nails a 3!!! but Kim Roberson answers on the IU end by banking a 3 in off the backboard.
Indiana 21, Wisconsin 12: Haylie Linn steals an errant pass from the Badgers after a Hoosier miss and feeds Kim Roberson for an easy layup. The Badgers have turned the ball over seven times in the first nine minutes of the game.
Indiana 24, Wisconsin 14: Linn buries a 3!!! after Roberson snags a Banks pass on the Badger end. Roberson, who played at Cathedral in Indy, seems to have an eye out for Banks, ripping the ball out of midair while guarding her one-on-one.
Indiana 30, Wisconsin 18: Braun knocks down a 3!!! to builf the Hoosier lead. The Badgers have 11 turnovers with 6:57 left in the first, including four steals by Roberson. Jolene Anderson, the Big Ten’s scoring leader, has zero points on 0-for-1 shooting.
Indiana 33, Wisconsin 20: The unshakable Linn hits another 3!!! and leads the Hoosiers with 11 points.
Indiana 33, Wisconsin 22: Timeout with 3:29 to go in half one. The Badgers are struggling to get any rhythm and cannot keep a secure handle on the basketball.
Indiana 36, Wisconsin 25: Linn again with a 3!!!, pushing her points total to 14, but this time Wisonsin answers with a freshman of their own, Alyssa Karel.
Indiana 42, Wisconsin 25: Thomas finds Braun on a give-and-go and Braun delivers a layup with just one second to spare in the half.
Halftime Stats: Indiana 42, Wisconsin 25:The Badgers have 15 turnovers through one half of play, and Anderson has not scored. A fine defensive effort for the Hoosiers in the game’s first 20 minutes.
Wisconsin, Janese Banks, 5 points, 4 rebounds, Danielle Ward, 2 blocks
Indiana, Haylie Linn, 14 points, Kim Roberson, 11 points, 4 steals, 2 assists, Jamie Braun, 9 points, 6 rebounds, 2 steals
We entered an area where we couldn’t get good wireless card reception (OK, we went to eat at the Beef House) and this final thought came into our chat.
I’ve noticed Kelvin Sampson has turned the Indiana program around in the snap of a finger. He has put together a good team (not a great team) this year, but you can’t expect a national championship caliber team in his second year. He inherited an NIT caliber team last year and made the an NCAA Tournament competitor. I’ve never seen a bigger group of whiners than IU fans. You’re 17-2 and 6-0 in the conference, and some of you whine all the time. Your offense is very efficient and scores a lot of points compared to the number of possessions you have in a game. If anything, it’s been break downs on the defensive end of the floor that have caused you to lose your two games. And give up the bashing of Kelvin’s offensive philosophy. My goodness. It’s the exact same philosophy as Tom Izzo. Set offenses are designed to put your best players in position to succeed. If you want your precious motion offense, go cheer for Bobby Knight down in Lubbock. I think he’s winning about half his games down there. Observer, Norman, OK
Maybe your mind is consumed with thoughts about treacherous roads or shoveling your driveway.
No need to let that ruin your day.
Just log on Thursday at 11 a.m. and talk with Doug, AKA Mr. Sunshine, and I about Indiana sports. We’ll be on our way to Madison to cover the No. 11 Hoosiers vs. the No. 13 Badgers.
The Hoosiers meet one of the best players in the women’s game on Thursday as they battle Wisconsin at Assembly Hall.
Badger senior guard Jolene Anderson is now the school’s all-time leading scorer since a 42-point outing against Iowa on Jan. 13. Anderson’s 19.9 ppg is tops in the Big Ten and 12th in the nation. Plus, she’s a mid-season candidate for the Naismith Award (player of the year) and on the watch list for the Wooden Award (most outstanding player). And, her 2,092 career points ranks her 10th all-time in the conference.
“Weâ€™re just playing our regular defense,” said Hoosier senior Nikki Smith. “I donâ€™t think that we alter things that much for her. Obviously we have to be more aware of her than anyone else on the floor.”
Smith was rumored to have broken a finger on her shooting hand just before IU’s last game at Michigan. She only played 11 minutes and missed the only shot she took in the 65-54 loss. Though she would not specify in practice on Wednesday if the finger was fractured or just severely jammed, she did say she’ll play out the year without any advanced treatment because her playing days are numbered. Smith has drained 171 3-pointers in her IU career and is one away from tying Cyndi Valentin (2003-06) for third place and three from tying Heather Cassady (1999-02) for second on the all-time list.
“You canâ€™t keep a senior down,â€ said IU coach Felisha Legette-Jack. â€œYou can have all kinds of stuff going on with your body, but when you know youâ€™ve got six weeks to showcase your self and play this game that you love, you donâ€™t feel pain.â€
Sophomore Jamie Braun is Indiana’s leading scorer (14.9 ppg) and is listed as “Making A Buzz” for the Nancy Lieberman Award for the nation’s best point guard. She and Hoosier freshman Haylie Linn are Wisconsin natives.
Said Badger coach Lisa Stone on Braun’s continued improvements in her early career: “Sheâ€™s not playing like a sophomore. Sheâ€™s playing like a veteran.”