Rapid Reaction: Hoosiers Humbled In First Road Game

Tom Brew

MADISON, Wis. — Saturday was a day of firsts for the Indiana basketball team. First Big Ten game. First road game. First uncomfortable environment.

First stinker. First loss.

In their initial game away from the comforts of cozy Assembly Hall, the Hoosiers were flat-out embarrassed by Wisconsin on Saturday at the Kohl Center, getting throttled 84-64. It was their first loss of the year after eight home wins, and they were never in the game. They were awful at both ends, struggling for 40 minutes for the first time all year.

It's probably not too surprising that this happened here at the Kohl Center, Indiana's personal house of horrors. This was their 17th straight loss in the building, not having won since the week it opened in 1998.

But what was somewhat surprising about the blowout loss was that they were taking on a Wisconsin team that's been pretty bad themselves lately, losing three straight nonconference to unranked foes for the first time in 19 years.

It didn't seem to matter early that Wisconsin had been struggling offensively during its recent three-game losing streak, where the Badgers had shot a collective 34 percent in losses to Richmond, New Mexico and N.C. State.  Instead, they were on fire from the get-go, and they never cooled off.

The Badgers shot 62.5 percent in the first half and Indiana had no answer for Kobe King and Nate Reuvers. King had 17 points on 8 of 10 shooting, and he did it against a variety of defenders. There was so little energy in Indiana's defense that they only forced one turnover in the first half, and only four turnovers for the game.

Reuvers did his thing depending on who was guarding him. If it was big guys Joey Brunk or DeRon Davis, he took them outside and hit perimeter shots, including one 3-pointer.. When Indiana went small, he backed his way in on Trayce Jackson-Davis and scored easily on him down low.

Indiana's offense early was just as bad as its defense. The Hoosiers, who came into the game ranked fourth in the country in field goal percentage, shot just 33 percent in the first half, and many of the misses came within 5 feet of the basket.  It got a little better in a semi-meaningless late run, as they finished shooing just 42 percent from the field.

Reuvers did the same amount of damage in the second half as the lead got pushed to 27 when he scored on a nice move inside around Brunk, and then as soon as Davis came in, he took him out on the 3-point line and nailed another long-range jumper,  The lead was 30. King finished  with 24 points and Reuvers had 20.

Indiana cut into the lead a bit, getting as close as 19 down the stretch as Durham and Frankin finally got hot, scoring a combined 13 points to cut into the lead. Durham led the Hoosiers with 17 points. Justin Smith and Devonte Green had 10

NEXT UP: Indiana will be on the road again on Tuesday when it takes on Connecticut at Madison Square Garden in New York. The game is part of the Jimmy V Classic and starts around 9 p.m. ET. No. 1-ranked Louisville plays Texas Tech in the opening game. at 7 p.m. ET