Wisconsin upset No. 19 Indiana, 82-79, at the Kohl Center in overtime on Tuesday. It was the Badgers’ third straight win and the Hoosiers’ first Big Ten loss of the season.
“Our fans were great, and I just think at home we have an extra gear like most teams do,” Wisconsin guard Jordan Hill said on CBS Sports Radio’s Ferrall on the Bench. “But Indiana’s a great team. They gave us all we could handle and it’s really big that we got a win from them, especially since they’ve been on such a great roll lately.”
Hill was stellar off the bench, shooting a perfect 5-of-5 from the floor and finishing with 13 points in 32 minutes of burn.
“It was a really big confidence boost, that’s for sure,” Hill said. “I just came in there and did what I know how to do. I trusted myself, my teammates trusted me, and I tried to make the most of all my opportunities. I’m glad we came out with the win.”
Nigel Hayes led the way for Wisconsin with 31 points. Hayes did most of his damage from the foul line, where he shot 17-of-22, and finished with five rebounds, two assists, two steals and two blocks. Freshman forward Ethan Happ, meanwhile, had 25 points, eight boards, four steals and two blocks.
“Man, I’m so proud of that kid,” Hill said of Happ. “When he plays like that and he really believes in himself and he’s aggressive offensively and defensively, he’s a handful to stop. Around the basket he shoots so well, he made his free throws, and defensively he did what he had to do, especially when we switched big-to-little and he had to guard Yogi. I was proud of him.”
Three Hoosiers finished in double figures, including Yogi Ferrell, who hit five threes and scored 30 points. Ferrell, however, had just one assist.
“I think he creates a lot of opportunities for everybody else,” Hill said. “He got a lot of points getting to the rim and getting to the free-throw line, even with guys in his face. He’s just a tough guy to guard. He’s got everything he needs to be a great point guard in this league. When you don’t get a lot of help, it’s tough to win. You can score all the points you want, but you can’t be the only one doing it.”
Wisconsin (12-9, 4-4), which shot 52.1 percent from the floor and forced 19 turnovers, started 1-3 in conference play but has beaten then-No. 4 Michigan State, Penn State and Indiana to get back to .500 in the Big Ten standings.
The Badgers play Illinois (10-10, 2-5) on the road this Sunday at 7:30 p.m. ET.
“I don’t think we’re where we need to be, but we’re trending in the right direction, which is the most important thing,” Hill said. “There’s definitely some things we have to shore up. I believe we had 16 turnovers. We can’t do that. We got to take better care of the ball. But when we get it clicking, we’re really tough to handle. When we play together, we’re a tough team to beat. As long as we keep doing that and stay in that direction, I think we can go pretty far.”