After trailing by just one at halftime, Indiana scored just four points in the first 9:01 of the second half and fell 68-51 to Wisconsin on Thursday night at Assembly Hall.
By the time the Hoosiers (6-19, 1-12 Big Ten) scored their fifth and sixth points after halftime, Wisconsin had built a 15-point lead. The Badgers didn’t let the lead fall below 11 the rest of the way.
The loss was the fourth straight for IU and the 17th in their last 19 games.
“I don’t think we competed or played well in the second half. Our defense really let us down,” Indiana coach Tom Crean said. “And there is really nothing in the second half that we can hang our hat on. We were much different than the first half and they exposed that. They did an excellent job taking advantage of that.”
Trevon Hughes scored 21 points on 7 of 14 shooting to lead Wisconsin and Joe Krabbenhoft added 18. The Badgers (17-9, 8-6) shot 49 percent, hit 11 of 15 free throws and committed just seven turnovers.
Verdell Jones paced the Hoosiers with 16 points and Devan Dumes added 12 in his first game back following a two-game suspension. IU hit 15 of 19 free throws, but hit just 2 of 11 shots from beyond the 3-point line.
Up next: The Hoosiers travel to West Lafayette on Saturday afternoon for a 2PM ET meeting with Purdue. That game will be broadcast on the Big Ten Network. “I think we’re thirsty to redeem ourselves,” Verdell Jones said. “Purdue is an in-state rival and we definitely want to go up there and give them our all. We’ll prepare tomorrow for them and just come out and give it our best.”