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The Journal Gazette

Tuesday, January 03, 2017 6:30 pm

Hoosiers' skid hits 3 games with loss to Badgers

Chris Goff | The Journal Gazette

BLOOMINGTON – A new year only brought more of the same old problems for an Indiana team that seems to have lost its way.

The Hoosiers' 75-68 home loss to No. 13 Wisconsin on Tuesday night marked their third straight and fourth in their last six games and figures to only turn up the heat on a team that had been as high as No. 3 in the polls this season.

Indiana (10-5, 0-2 Big Ten) shot 53 percent, burning the Badgers (13-2, 2-0) with offense in the paint, but the visitors were able to come into Assembly Hall and control the tempo. In a game played at a crawl, the Badgers took advantage and shot 50 percent, methodically feeding center Ethan Happ for key buckets down the stretch.

It was 54-54 after a 3-pointer by Robert Johnson with 9:12 remaining. But Happ (19 points, six rebounds) replied with an immediate score, and when Happ found Zak Showalter for a 3 with 4 1/2 minutes left, Wisconsin had gone up 66-59 and forced Hoosiers coach Tom Crean to use a timeout.

The Hoosiers, who trailed 13-0 to start the game, never recovered. It was 38-37 at halftime in the Badgers' favor and close throughout the middle portion of the game, but Wisconsin controlled the start and the end.

Juwan Morgan had 12 points and seven rebounds for Indiana, while Johnson and De'Ron Davis each scored 12. Center Thomas Bryant was limited to six points and James Blackmon Jr. just 10, all in the first half.

The Hoosiers will attempt to snap their losing streak Saturday when Illinois visits.