Five turnovers. Shooting percentage of 47%. 21-26 from the line. Jones, Watford, and Hulls all with between 13 and 18 points. Before the game, any of us would have taken those numbers and might have thought that IU would have pulled the upset. As it was, the Hoosiers stuck around for most of the game, but an incredible performance by Wisconsin's Jordan Taylor, who scored 39 points on 19 field goal attempts, was the difference, and IU fell to Wisconsin 77-67 on Senior Night.
From the standpoint of offensive efficiency, IU played one of its best games of the season and one of the best games any team has played against Wisconsin. IU's 1.22 points per possession were IU's second best of the Big Ten season and fifth-best overall, while that was the Badger's worst defensive performance of the season on that basis. The Hoosiers took care of the ball and shot reasonably well and got to the line. Unfortunately, the Badgers' overall offensive performance and the amazing performance by Taylor canceled out anything IU was able to accomplish on the offensive end.
I was at Assembly Hall in 1995 when Shawn Respert scored an opposition-record 40 points at Assembly Hall. The performances were a bit different. First, IU won the 1995 game. Second, if I recall correctly, at least 30 of Respert's points came in the second half of that game. In any event, Taylor put on one of the best shooting performances in the history of Assembly Hall. Some of his success could be attributed to IU's defense, of course, and the poor communication and decision-making that has plagued the team all year seemed to be a factor again last night. Still, more than one of Taylor's bombs came with a hand in his face. He was unstoppable, and it's a shame, because IU had a chance last night.
Well, it's a quick turnaround before IU plays Illinois, and there isn't much else to say about this one. As has been typical, defense told the story. More on the Illini later.
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