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Saturday, May 18, 2024
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Klesmit roasts Hoosiers with 26-point performance

Wisconsin guard Max Klesmit scored 23 points in the second half to push the Badgers past Indiana.

Max Klesmit’s 20 consecutive points in the second half propelled the No. 11 Wisconsin Badgers men’s basketball team past the Indiana Hoosiers in their 91-79 victory Friday at the Kohl Center.

Wisconsin looked to bounce back in this matchup against Indiana after Tuesday’s game, where the Badgers fell to Penn State 83-87. Indiana also suffered a big loss Tuesday when they faced No. 2 Purdue and got blown out by 21 points. 

Wisconsin struggled at the beginning of the game on both sides of the court. The Badgers only scored three points in the first five minutes of the game and struggled to defend Hoosiers forward Malik Reneau. Reneau scored eight points in the first half and used his length to grab six of Indiana’s 12 first-half rebounds. 

Wisconsin battled back from their early-game struggles and gained a lead thanks to Badgers guards John Blackwell and AJ Storr. Blackwell substituted for Storr three minutes in after Storr missed his first three shot attempts, turned the ball over on a fast-break opportunity and picked up a foul. 

Blackwell came in and scored seven points and snatched three rebounds in the first half. He finished the game with 12 points and four rebounds off the bench. 

Blackwell provided offensive relief for Storr, who came back into the game shortly after being substituted out. Storr then went perfect from the field for the remainder of the half and got to the free-throw line, making three of his four attempts. 

Wisconsin finished the half with a 13-point lead and outclassed Indiana from the 3-point line. 

Max Klesmit came into the second half and torched the Hoosiers defense with a 20-point solo scoring run in less than five minutes. His scoring run included four consecutive 3-point shots, one of which resulted in an and-one opportunity where Klesmit made the free throw to complete the four-point play.

Klesmit’s scoring spurt included two free throws from a flagrant two foul after Indiana guard CJ Gunn was ejected for elbowing Klesmit in the face in response to Klesmit lowering his head to Gunn’s chest.

Unfortunately for the Badgers, guard Kamari McGee landed awkwardly on back-to-back defensive possessions and suffered an injury to his right foot minutes after taking the floor. McGee limped back to the locker room and was ruled out of the game, but he returned back on the bench with a walking boot.

Wisconsin head coach Greg Gard said he did not know how long McGee will be out but was optimistic he will return this season.

“He’s a little banged up, but it sounds like he’ll be okay,” Gard said in a postgame press conference. “I don’t know when that will be, but preliminary reports are everything will be okay. I don’t know how long he’ll be out, or if he’ll be out, but we’ll see as time goes on.”

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Wisconsin moves to 14-4 overall on the season and to 6-1 in conference play. The Badgers, who are 2-3 in away games, will hit the road Tuesday to face the Minnesota Golden Gophers in Minneapolis.

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