BLOOMINGTON — Cody Zeller’s first half Tuesday night was nearly perfect.
Eight-of-eight from the field. Two-for-three from the line. And a one-point halftime lead for his second-ranked Hoosiers.
The second half against Wisconsin? Not so great.
The Badgers held Zeller to one basket in seven shots in the second half, rallying for a 64-59 win to put Wisconsin alone atop the Big Ten standings.
“They were clogging up the middle more,” Zeller said. “Shots just stopped falling.”
The shots weren’t falling much at all for the Hoosiers (15-2, 3-1 Big Ten). Take out Zeller’s perfect performance and his teammates shot just 5-of-20 in the first half.
The nation’s top offense finished just 20-of-54 from the floor for the game.
“Lot of things have to go right if you’re going to miss 34 shots,” Indiana coach Tom Crean said.
Not much has gone right when the Hoosiers face the Badgers. Wisconsin (13-4, 4-0) has won 11 straight against Indiana and five in a row in Bloomington.
Only Purdue, which won 12 straight against Indiana from 1908 through 1914, has won more games in a row against the Hoosiers. Wisconsin also won 11 straight against IU from 1912 through 1919.
And no team had won even four straight against the Hoosiers in Assembly Hall before the Badgers did it in March 2011.
Now the streak is five in a row on Indiana’s home court, and the prize is first place by themselves in the Big Ten.
“The thing is though, in this league, like I told our guys, ‘Let’s enjoy for 24 hours and then we know we got to get ready for Iowa, at Iowa,’” Wisconsin coach Bo Ryan said.
Ryan said there wasn’t “some coaching strategy” that helped the Badgers do a better job of defending Zeller in the second half.
“We just didn’t move our feet (in the first half) and get into the spots and the angles that we normally do, and Zeller is that much better this year and he just destroyed (Jared) Berggen and (Frank Kaminsky),” Ryan said.