MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Jordan Taylor scored a career-high 28 points to lead No. 18 Wisconsin to a 69-60 victory over Indiana on Thursday night for the Badgers’ 14th straight win in the Kohl Center.
It was the best performance of Taylor’s career at Wisconsin (14-4, 4-2 Big Ten) and came just five days after he had a 22-point outburst in a win over then-No. 16 Illinois.
Taylor and Jon Leuer, who finished with 20 points for his 25th straight game in double figures, were the only offense early for Wisconsin. The Badgers had to rally from a second-half deficit and trailed for most of the first 27 minutes.
Indiana (10-9, 1-5) got 16 points from Jordan Hulls in the Hoosiers’ first game without Maurice Creek, who sustained a stress fracture in his right knee in Saturday’s win over Michigan.
Verdell Jones III added 15 points for the Hoosiers and Jeremiah Rivers cut Wisconsin’s lead to 54-52 with 7:14 left before Indiana missed five straight shots and committed two turnovers.
Taylor hit a jumper and added two free throws and Keaton Nankivil made one of two to put Wisconsin up 59-52, and Rivers’ layup ended the long field-goal drought nearly 4 minutes later to make it 62-56 with 3:19 to play.
But Indiana couldn’t get much closer. Leading by four, Leuer hit a flailing shot and was fouled, converting the three-point play to make it 65-58 with 1 minute left and put the game out of reach.
Indiana is 1-24 on the road since coach Tom Crean took over the beleaguered program three seasons ago.
Wisconsin relied on its defense to change the momentum early in the second half, too, with an 8-0 run capped by Mike Bruesewitz’s dunk and free throw to give Wisconsin a 44-42 lead, its first since the opening minutes.
Hulls put Indiana back up by a point with a layup a few minutes later, but Taylor converted a three-point play and Nankivil hit a baseline jumper that gave Wisconsin a 52-48 lead with 9:16 left.
Creek averaged 16.4 points before fracturing his left kneecap last year. He returned to average 8.3 points per game this season before another injury, this time on the other knee.
Indiana played well from the start and looked poised early to knock off its first Top 25 opponent on the road in more than nine years.
Hulls scored 10 of Indiana’s first 14 points as the Hoosiers jumped out to an early eight-point lead, the biggest the Hoosiers would have for the night. Taylor hit a 25-foot 3-pointer in the closing seconds to cut the Hoosiers’ lead to 34-30 at the break.
Jones made a layup just over a minute into the second half to give him 1,000 points for his career, the 42nd player in Indiana history to accomplish the feat.