for this game

Butch's banked 3-pointer lifts Wisconsin over Indiana

Feb 14, 2008 - 5:37 AM BLOOMINGTON, Indiana (Ticker) -- Brian Butch's prayer made Indiana's rough day even less bearable.

Butch banked in a 3-pointer with 4.5 seconds remaining as No. 14 Wisconsin pulled out a 68-66 victory over No. 12 Indiana in a Big Ten Conference showdown on Wednesday.

Butch finished with 13 points and capped a stellar long-range shooting effort for the Badgers (20-4, 9-2 Big Ten), who went 42 percent (11-of-26) on 3-pointers.

"Sometimes it is better to be luckier than good," Indiana coach Kelvin Sampson said. "It is a great break for Wisconsin and a tough break for us. Both teams played hard. But it hurts because it is a home game. The good thing is that we have been really good on the road, having won five of six."

For the Hoosiers, the tough loss comes after a trying day in which the NCAA announced that Sampson was cited for five major recruiting violations.

Stemming in part from his phone violations at Oklahoma, Sampson overstepped recruiting restrictions placed on him and allegedly lied to both Indiana and the NCAA to cover up his involvement.

While the violations could lead to a postseason ban after this season, Hoosiers athletic director Rick Greenspan stated that Sampson will remain the coach "for the foreseeable future."

A ruling from the NCAA is not expected until sometime in June.

The players did their best to put on a brave face about the big news.

"There has been nothing outside affecting the team," Indiana forward D.J. White said. "We are a family. We stick together through whatever. Tonight had nothing to do with anything; we just didn't win. That is the bottom line."

Despite playing under a black cloud, Indiana (20-4, 9-2) took a 59-56 lead after freshman sensation Eric Gordon converted his second straight layup with 4:32 remaining.

The lead exchanged hands four times until the Badgers' Marcus Landry followed his own missed jumper in the lane with a tip, making it 65-64 with 24 seconds to play.

The Big Ten's leading scorer, Gordon put the Hoosiers back ahead just seven ticks later, converting a pair of free throws. The star guard scored 17 of his 23 points in the second half.

After advancing the ball up court, Wisconsin called a timeout to set up a final play. However, the Badgers could not get the ball to a guard on the ensuing inbounds, settling for Landry on the left wing.

Butch, who had missed on his previous two attempts from the arc, came over from the top of the key to take a handoff and worked the clock down before letting the deciding shot fly.

"Everything but the bank, come on," Wisconsin coach Bo Ryan joked about drawing up the final play. "That's one of the options. To be real honest, the ball ends up in Marcus' (Landry) hands. He was astute enough to drive what the guards usually do, and then Brian (Butch) is his throw-back guy, and Brian was there."

It was just the ninth 3-pointer in the past 14 games for the senior forward-center.

"Madison people have heard this story a thousand times," Ryan said. "The first basket I made in high school when I was moved up to varsity was a bank shot from the top of the key. My coach runs to the scorer's table and tells them that it doesn't count because I didn't call it. I thought that was pretty funny that he relaxed me and I felt a lot better the next three years playing basketball.

"I did not do that with Brian. I told Brian in the locker room that they discounted it because he didn't call it and that we lost and the game was over. There was silence for two seconds and then somebody yelled, 'Let's get on the plane.' And that was it."

Jamarcus Ellis did get a final look at a 3-pointer for Indiana on the right wing, but his shot hit the front of the rim.

"Yeah, we were stunned, of course," White said. "I've been in situations before where teams have had the game winner. But we pushed up the court and we got a shot off but it didn't fall."

Jason Bohannon sank six baskets from the arc en route to 18 points for the Badgers, who swept the season series with the Hoosiers - winning at Bloomington for just the first time in three tries.

"We lost him (Bohannon) a couple of times on switches," Sampson said. "We over helped in the paint on penetration and their guards to a great job on kick outs. But the second half we did a much better job on him. The thing that really hurt us in the second half was offensive rebounds."

Michael Flowers added 15 points - including three 3-pointers - and seven boards for Wisconsin, which held a slim 32-31 rebounding advantage.

In the first half, the Hoosiers managed to hold a 37-36 lead despite Gordon's inability to shake off Flowers. The freshman attempted just three shots in the first half en route to six points.

However, Gordon finished 7-of-17 and converted 9-of-10 free throws en route to becoming the third player in the Big Ten to score 20 points against Wisconsin this season. The Hoosiers' White and Michigan's Manny Harris are the other two.

White added 17 points and eight rebounds for Indiana.