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Culture Shock

Walsh’s World: Hoosiers Upset No. 3 Wisconsin, Get Season’s Signature Win


BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – It’s déjà vu all over again.

After rallying back from a 15 point deficit against Penn State on Saturday, Indiana surprised Hoosier Nation again with a marquee, come from behind 75-72 win over the No. 3 ranked Wisconsin Badgers, preventing Bo Ryan from winning his 13th straight game against the Hoosiers and giving Indiana the resume builder they so desperately needed.

Led by Kevin “Yogi” Ferrell, the Hoosiers (12-5, 2-2 Big Ten) were able to reel the Badgers (16-1, 3-1 Big Ten) back with under ten minutes to play and ride the energy from the Hoosier Faithful to the buzzer to defeat the Badgers for the first time in Bloomington since 2007.

“To me, the team needs this,” said coach Tom Crean about the win. “We’ve had a long week from Michigan State to Penn State, but we got a lot better…It’s just amazing what happens when some real confidence starts to come.”

Ferrell -- who led all scorers with 25 points -- was crucial in the final minutes for Indiana, despite shooting 10-of-24 from the field and 1-of-8 from behind the arc. The sophomore guard scored eight points in the final three minutes, including a huge three-pointer that gave IU the lead with 2:53 to go and the final free throws that would seal the win.

Senior Will Sheehey and freshman Stanford Robinson also had big games for Indiana, scoring 13 points each. Robinson, in particular, injected life into the Hoosiers with his drive first mentality, which proved to be a problem for the Badgers.

“Yogi and Will told me in the beginning of the game that the lanes were open and they told me to just keep going because that’s one of my strong points,” said Robinson. “So two of my leaders telling me to just keep going, I felt like I had the freedom to just be me.”

The first half was similar for Indiana, who fought back from an eight point Wisconsin lead and kept the Badgers within five points for the rest of the half.

The Badgers -- who came into this game undefeated -- were led by Traevon Jackson and Ben Brust, who scored 21 and 13 points respectively.

Brian’s take:

Man oh man. Is Assembly Hall a bad place for Top-10 teams or what?

With tonight’s victory, Indiana is now 6-1 against Top-10 teams at Assembly Hall in the last two years, with wins against Minnesota, Michigan twice, Ohio State, Michigan State and now Wisconsin.

And tonight’s game is up there as one of the best.

You had everything you wanted. Crean finally beating Bo Ryan, Indiana getting the signature win they so needed to keep their postseason hopes alive and a rocking Assembly Hall to renew support from Hoosier Nation.

I’m sure I’m not alone in saying that I had already written off IU’s season. I knew from the start this would be a year full of learning and experience and after a non-conference schedule without any significant wins and a beating from Michigan State ten days ago, I thought Indiana didn’t have what it took to play with the big boys of the Big Ten.

Tonight, everything changed.

This is exactly the win that this team needed – one on national television and against a top-five team – to inspire these players, and the fans, that this season isn’t just a throwaway.

Crean finally looks like he has settled into a rotation that works, meaning he doesn’t have multiple duds on the court taking up space and wasting minutes (i.e. Jeremy Hollowell and sometimes Troy Williams). Despite the small lineup, it works with Sheehey acting as the swingman and Robinson playing substantial minutes.

I said it at the beginning of the season and I’ll say it again: Stanford Robinson has the talent to start and if tonight didn’t prove it to you, I don’t know what will.

Indiana has two big games coming up on the schedule: against Northwestern on Saturday and in East Lansing next week for a rematch with the Spartans.

While this game hasn’t solved all of the Hoosiers problems, it certainly has renewed the team – and fans – excitement for the rest of Big Ten play.


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