MADISON, Wis. – In a season of upheaval, Wisconsin finally has found its groove. And the frontcourt is leading the way.
Nigel Hayes scored 31 points and 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 consecutive games, each by six points or fewer, after having lost three in a row by five points or less.
Gard said the turnaround was in part due to better chemistry: . "The chemistry and culture in the locker room has grown tighter and tighter. The cohesiveness and togetherness and how these guys are growing together is something that makes me extremely proud to be their coach."
In overtime, Kevin "Yogi" Ferrell's three-pointer with five 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 for one last shot after Hayes tipped away an inbounds pass as time expired.
Ferrell finished with 30 points.
"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 free throw attempts.
Wisconsin extended its home winning streak against Indiana to 14 games.