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Friday, February 1, 2008

A Closer Look: Wisconsin 62 Indiana 49

(Full Box Score)
Indiana took a trip north to Madison last night and suffered their first defeat in Big Ten play. The Badgers knocked off the Hoosiers 62-49 to create a four-way logjam at the top of the conference standings. Wisconsin, Indiana, Michigan State and Purdue are all now tied in the loss column atop the Big Ten standings. The Hoosiers shot 18-54 (33%) on the night while Wisconsin was 20-58 (34%) from the floor. Both teams were cold from three-point range, Indiana only 3-21 (14%) and Wisconsin shot just 3-20 (15%) from long distance. So what was the difference in this 13-point win for the Badgers? Lets take a closer look:

1. Efficiency
Possesions: Indiana 60.7, Wisconsin 61.4
Offensive PPP(Points per Possesion): Indiana 0.81, Wisconsin 1.01
The Badgers held Indiana well below their conference average of 1.06 PPP. Offensively, Wisconsin averaged over 1.0 PPP against a Hoosier defense that was holding opponents to 0.90 PPP in conference play before Thursday.

2. Turnovers
TO Rate: Indiana 19.8% (12 turnovers), Wisconsin 9.8% (6 turnovers)
Turnovers become a key in this game thanks to Wisconsin's incredible ability to hold onto the ball. Last night marked the first time all season the Badgers had a TO % of less than 11% on the season and along with the fact Wisconsin pulled down 4 more offensive rebounds than Indiana gave them the chance to take more shots and even more importantly more free throws. Which speaking of...

3. Free Throws
FT: Indiana 10-12 (83%), Wisconsin 19-26 (73%)
Bo Ryan coached teams have also put an emphasis on getting to the free throw line. They expect to make more free throws than their opponents attempt. That was certainly the case against the Hoosiers and proved to be the single most important factor in Wisconsin's victory. Trevon Hughes himself got to the line 10 times, making 9 of those attempts.

If you listened to the commentators or are reading some recaps on last night's game you have probably heard about Eric Gordon's wrist injury and how much that effected the game. Which it definately appeared as though he was having trouble getting comfortable last night, especially in the first half. Gordon finished the game with 16 points on just 6-14 shooting (2-7 from 3). Indiana's most efficient player was again D.J. White as he completed a monster game with a game-high 22 points on 7-13 shooting and pulled down 17 boards for yet another double-double.

Wisconsin was led by Marcus Landry's 14 points on 6-10 shooting, and he also grabbed 11 rebounds. Trevon Hughes struggled from the floor, shooting an ugly 3-15, but still finished the game as the Badger's leading scorer with 16 points, thanks in large part to his 9 out of 10 free throws.

Up next for Wisconsin is a trip to Minnesota on Sunday to face Tubby Smith's Gophers. Indiana returns home this weekend with a great chance of ending their two game skid against Northwestern on Sunday.

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