Madison, Wis. — In a season of upheaval, Wisconsin has finally found its groove.
The frontcourt is leading the way.
Nigel Hayes scored 31 points, Ethan Happ added 25 and the Badgers ended No. 19 Indiana’s 12-game winning streak with an 82-79 victory in overtime on Tuesday night.
“It wasn’t the prettiest of fashions, but they kept finding a way, they kept battling,” interim coach Greg Gard said.
The Badgers (12-9, 4-4 Big Ten) have won three straight games, each by six points or fewer, after having lost three straight by five points or fewer.
They’re learning how to win close games, and Gard said that was in part due to the chemistry that has developed of late.
It can be quite a shock when a team loses its coach at midseason, as happened to the Badgers when Bo Ryan retired last month.
“The chemistry and culture in the locker room has grown tighter and tighter,” Gard said. “The cohesiveness and togetherness and how these guys are growing together is something that makes me extremely proud to be their coach.”
Wisconsin missed several chances in the closing minutes of overtime to put the game out of reach after Bronson Koenig and Jordan Hill each went 1 of 2 at the free-throw line.
Kevin “Yogi” Ferrell’s 3-pointer with 5 seconds left pulled the Hoosiers within 80-79 before Hayes stretched the lead back to three with two free throws.
But Indiana (17-4, 7-1) never had a chance to give Ferrell one last shot to tie after Hayes tipped away OG Anunoby’s inbounds pass as time expired.
Ferrell finished with 30 points on 12-of-20 shooting. He was 5 of 6 from 3-point range.
“All things considered, I’m proud with the way my team battled,” Indiana coach Tom Crean said. “But at the same time, there were too many mistakes to win the game.”
Indiana had 19 turnovers and 31 fouls, giving Wisconsin 19 more opportunities at the free-throw line.
Wisconsin extended its home winning streak against Indiana to 14 games.
Central Michigan 68, (at) Miami (Ohio) 51: Chris Fowler scored 21 points, made nine assists and hit all 11 of his free-throw attempts. Braylon Rayson scored 14 points, Rayshawn Simmons added 12 and the Chippewas (11-9, 4-3 Mid-American Conference) made 18 of 20 free throws.
Up by two at halftime, the Chippewas pulled away on a 15-2 run in which Rayson and Luke Myer each hit 3-pointers to lead 50-36 with 13:54 to play.
Rayson scored seven points amid a 10-2 run, and Central Michigan led 61-45 with 7:54 to go and finished with a 7-2 run.
Central Michigan trailed early, led briefly, then pulled to a 35-32 halftime lead on 50 percent shooting behind Fowler’s 10 points.
Rod Mills scored 13 and Geovonie McKnight added 10 for the Red Hawks (6-14, 0-7), who have lost nine straight.
(At) Kent State 73, Eastern Michigan 58: Khaliq Spicer had 21 points and 13 rebounds as Kent State pulled away late. Spicer, who had 13 points in the second half, also had five blocks. Jimmy Hall added 13 points, and Kellon Thomas and Chris Ortiz had 12 each for Kent State (15-5, 6-1 Mid-American Conference), which has won five consecutive games.
Kent State held Eastern Michigan to just 7-of 32 shooting from the floor in the second half.
Trailing 32-31 at the half, Spicer made six straight points and Ortiz hit a jumper to start the second period and Kent State took a 48-41 lead. Willie Mangum IV, who finished with 12 points, answered with two consecutive 3-pointers to close to 48-47 with 7:59 left. Kent Sate responded with a 22-7 run.
Raven Lee had 15 points and James Thompson IV added 14 for Eastern Michigan (10-10, 2-5).
Bowling Green 79, (at) Western Michigan 78: Matt Fox made a go-ahead 3-pointer with 53 seconds left. Fox tied the score at 68-all with 3:45 to play before Western Michigan surged to a 74-70 lead. Ismail Ali scored on a layup and Rasheed Worrell made two free throws to tie it at 74.
Tucker Haymond missed two free throws on the ensuing possession before a wide-open Fox hit a 3-pointer from the corner and Falcons led 77-74 with 53 seconds remaining.
Worrell missed two late free throws and the Falcons then with 4 seconds left fouled Wilder, who made the first free throw and missed the second intentionally.
Spencer Parker added two free throws and the Falcons had a four-point lead with three seconds left.
Wesley Alcegaire scored 14 points and Rasheed Worrell had 11 points and nine rebounds to lead Bowling Green (13-7, 4-3 Mid-American Conference).
Haymond had 20 points for Western Michigan (8-12, 2-5).
Top 25 men
(At) No. 1 Oklahoma 91, Texas Tech 67: Buddy Hield scored 30. Hield, the nation’s No. 2 scorer, made 9 of 12 shots, including 5 of 8 3-point attempts, and 7 of 8 free throws. It was his seventh game with 30 or more points this season.
Isaiah Cousins scored 19, Jordan Woodard 15 and Khadeem Lattin had a career-high eight blocks for the Sooners (17-2, 6-2 Big 12), who remained in first place in the conference.
Oklahoma, which leads the nation in 3-point percentage, made 12 of 23 from beyond the arc and shot 53 percent overall.
(At) No. 9 West Virginia 70, Kansas State 55: Jonathan Holton had 14 points and 11 rebounds, giving the Mountaineers a sweep of the season series. It was Holton’s second double-double in three games for the Mountaineers (17-3, 6-2 Big 12).
Justin Edwards had 11 points for Kansas State (12-8, 2-6), which cut West Virginia’s lead to single digits in the second half just once. Dean Wade had nine points for the Wildcats, who connected on 20 of 57 shots (35.1 percent), and lost for the fifth straight time.
No. 11 Virginia 72, (at) Wake Forest 71: Darius Thompson hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer. Malcolm Brogdon scored 28 points and Anthony Gill added 17 for the Cavaliers (16-4, 5-3 Atlantic Coast Conference). The league’s top 3-point shooting team hit four 3-pointers in the final minute.
Bryant Crawford scored 18 of his 22 points in the second half and Devin Thomas added 19 for the Demon Deacons (10-10, 1-7), who blew a 10-point lead with 90 seconds left. Crawford missed one of two free throws with 4.0 seconds left to set up Virginia’s last chance.
No. 7 Xavier 75, (at) No. 10 Providence 68: Jalen Reynolds had 15 points and 11 rebounds, and Xavier held off a late rally fot its first road win over a Top Ten team in 20 years. Trevon Bluiett added 15 points for Xavier (18-2, 6-2 Big East).
With Bluiett battling late foul trouble and James Farr already fouled out, the Friars used a 16-5 run to cut what had been a 17-point deficit to 64-58 with 3:44 remaining.
Xavier was able to get the lead back up to double-digits. But after Bluiett fouled out, a dunk by Kris Dunn capped a 7-0 run by the Friars to make it 68-65.
The Musketeers held, though, getting some distance in the final minute via a 3-pointer by J.P. Macura and some free throws.
Ben Bentil led Providence (17-4, 5-3) with 25 points while Dunn added 16.