Sunday, February 16, 2003

Wisconsin 71, Indiana 59

Hoosiers have lost six of last seven

The Associated Press

MADISON, Wis. - Kirk Penney scored 22 points on 7-of-11 shooting and Wisconsin stepped closer to its second straight Big Ten Conference regular-season championship with a 71-59 victory over Indiana on Saturday.

The Badgers, who also defeated Michigan State on Wednesday, remained tied with Purdue and Michigan atop the conference.

"These two victories made a statement for our players," UW coach Bo Ryan said. "It was huge."

The struggling Hoosiers have lost six of their last seven games.

Wisconsin trailed for the majority of the first half before an 11-0 second-half run changed matters. After going 1-for-8 in the first half, Devin Harris hit a 3-pointer on his first shot following the break, then capped the Badgers' streak with an assist on Alando Tucker's layup.

Wisconsin's stiff defense didn't allow Indiana to regain its lead, eliminating the Hoosiers' transition offense and forcing bad shots.

"We just got back to the basics and said, `This is what we do well,'" Ryan said. "We made some subtle adjustments, but the halftime talk was pretty basic."

Indiana coach Mike Davis, involved in heated discussions with the officials throughout the game, was issued a technical foul with 42.4 seconds left.

"I've got two technical fouls, and I've never said a curse word and never raised my voice," Davis said. "I told the (referee) he's getting old, and he called a technical."

Jeff Newton led the Hoosiers with 20 points, 12 rebounds and five assists, while Marshall Strickland had a career-high 17 points. Tom Coverdale, who entered the contest averaging 11.7 points a game, was held to just five points.

Indiana started the game strong, taking a 29-21 halftime lead with solid inside play. The Hoosiers didn't allow Wisconsin many easy looks inside, blocking three shots.

The Badgers struggled to find their rhythm early, shooting just 30 percent from the floor. But after the quick spark following the break, Wisconsin regained its touch, shooting 58.3 percent in the second half and 44 percent for the game.

Under Ryan, the Badgers are undefeated in Big Ten home games. They lost their first two conference games this season but won eight of their last nine.

INDIANA (15-9, 5-6 Big Ten)-Newton 8-18 4-4 20, Moye 4-6 1-2 9, Coverdale 2-8 0-0 5, Wright 3-10 0-1 6, Strickland 7-11 0-1 17, Perry 0-1 0-0 0, Kline 0-1 0-0 0, Hornsby 1-2 0-0 2. Totals 25-57 5-8 59.

WISCONSIN (18-5, 8-3)-Tucker 2-6 5-7 9, Wilkinson 4-9 7-8 16, Penney 7-11 6-6 22, Owens 5-9 2-2 12, Harris 4-13 2-2 12, Wade 0-2 0-0 0. Totals 22-50 22-25 71.

Halftime-Indiana 29-21. 3-point goals- Indiana 4-15 (Strickland 3-7, Coverdale 1-5, Wright 0-1, Perry 0-1, Hornsby 0-1), Wisconsin 5-16 (Penney 2-3, Harris 2-6, Wilkinson 1-3, Tucker 0-1, Owens 0-1, Wade 0-2) Fouled out-Kline, Newton. Rebounds-Indiana 35 (Newton 12), Wisconsin 30 (Tucker 8). Assists-Indiana 10 (Newton 5), Wisconsin 10 (Tucker, Harris 3). Total fouls-Indiana 21, Wisconsin 13. A-17,142.

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