BLOOMINGTON — Romeo Langford drove around Wisconsin’s Khalil Iverson and banked in the game-winner with .8 of a second left to help Indiana knock off 19th-ranked Wisconsin 75-73 in double-overtime Tuesday at Assembly Hall.
With the game tied at 73-apiece — and a third overtime looming — Langford dribbled past Iverson and finished with his right hand. It was the first collegiate game winner for the heralded freshman from New Albany.
“Finally, I hit one,” Langford said. “The past two times I had it in my hands at the end of the game, it didn’t come out as we planned. I felt like they couldn’t stop me from getting to the rim, and that’s exactly what I did, and I made the shot.”
Langford, who had a team-best 22 points to go along with seven rebounds and a pair of assists, scored five of Indiana’s seven points in the second overtime to help the Hoosiers’ snap a five-game losing streak.
Romeo Langford Highlights from the W 🎥 pic.twitter.com/o2AXysUztu— Indiana Basketball (@IndianaMBB) February 27, 2019
“I thought (Iverson) flinched just a quick second,” Indiana coach Archie Miller said. “When he did, I knew Romeo was going to get by him. It was just a matter of whether he was going to make it or not.”
Indiana (14-14, 5-12 Big Ten) was coming off back-to-back heartbreaking losses to No. 14 Purdue and No. 22 Iowa. The Hawkeyes defeated the Hoosiers 76-70 in overtime last Friday. It’s the first time the Hoosiers have played in consecutive overtime games since 1999.
“We’ve been in a lot of close games, and this team is majority young,” Langford said. “I feel like the games we played that have come down to the wire prepared us for this.”
Justin Smith added 12 points and Al Durham and Juwan Morgan finished with 11 apiece for the Hoosiers, who outrebounded Wisconsin 46-40.
“I think our guys look like they’re playing with more confidence right now,” Miller said. “Our attitude is good right now.”
Wisconsin (19-9, 11-6), which entered the contest with 19 wins in its last 21 games against Indiana, was led by Ethan Happ’s 23 points before the Big Ten Player of the Year candidate fouled out in the second extra period. The Badgers trailed 47-34 with 12:40 left but used a 20-3 run to take a 54-50 advantage with 6:53 remaining.
“This is one we just weren’t able to close out,” Wisconsin coach Greg Gard said. “We’ve finished a lot of them out, more than we haven’t.”
It was 60-apiece with 36 seconds left in regulation when De’Ron Davis came up with a big steal. On the other end, Rob Phinisee came out of a scrum and hit a layup with 9.1 seconds left to put the Hoosiers on the verge of an upset. However, Wisconsin’s D’Mitrik Trice was fouled by Durham with 5.3 seconds left and connected on both. Phinisee’s potential game-winner hit the back of the rim.
“For about 30 minutes, we played probably as well as we have in a Big Ten game, but good teams make runs,” Miller said, “Being able to respond from that in the last four minutes and in the overtimes, it was good to see that we didn’t lay an egg.”
In the first overtime, Langford hit a layup to give Indiana a 68-65 lead with 21 seconds left. Trice, who finished just 2-of-10 from the field, hit a clutch 3 with five seconds left to knot the game again. Durham tried to give Indiana the win with a shot from near half-court that came up well short.
“It was a hard-fought game, to say the least,” Miller said. “Our guys are playing extremely hard right now.”
The Hoosiers will try to start a winning streak Saturday when they host Michigan State. Prior to Tuesday, Indiana’s last win was a 79-75 victory at East Lansing.
“I think we’re playing hard, and we’re more committed to the process,” Miller said. “Hopefully, you can start to get more contagious in terms of confidence.”