Wisconsin basketball got a very nice road win last night. The Badgers defeated Ohio State 71-60 and ended the game on a 19-4 run after falling behind 56-52 with six minutes left. After allowing 25 first half points between Jamison Battle and Bruce Thornton, the Badgers only allowed them to score six points combined in the second half. Max Klesmit led the way with 18 points while AJ Storr added 17 points, including 15 in the first half. Here are three takeaways from last night’s win.
Max Klesmit Took Over in the Second Half
Max Klesmit has the clutch gene in him and always seems to play well in the big games. Earlier this year, Klesmit had 21 first half points against Marquette. Last night, Klesmit scored all 18 of points in the second half and accounted for half the Badgers points.
In addition, Klesmit drew the primary assignment of defending Jamison Battle. Battle had 14 first half points, including some tough shots where Klesmit had his hand in his face. In the second half? Battle only had four points.
I also like that Klesmit never forces himself to shoot the ball. He’s a smart player and knows when he needs to get involved. After going without a field goal for almost eight minutes, it was Klesmit that drilled a three pointer. He went off after that. It was a great second half for the junior guard.
Wisconsin Basketball Finished
Last year, Wisconsin basketball struggled to finish games. It was a big reason they were in so many games decided by five points or less. This year, this team doesn’t panic and you can tell they have learned from that experience.
In the first half, Wisconsin basketball fell behind 25-17 late in the first half. Instead of folding, they responded with a 18-8 run to end the half and went into the locker room up by two,
In the second half, the Buckeyes when on a 14-4 run and built a 56-52 lead. Last season, this team would not have come back from that. However, with the half of Klesmit, the Badgers dominated the final six minutes.
The Badgers Stay Undefeated in Conference Play
It’s still early, but Wisconsin basketball is the only undefeated team in conference play. That matters right now. The Badgers have also been impressive in this run, winning each game by double digits.
With how crazy the Big Ten is every night, every win matters. Wisconsin has created some separation from some of the better teams in the conference. They have the chance to widen it more with a win over Northwestern on Saturday. It’s still early, but the Badgers are showing why they are one of the best teams in the Big Ten.
Wisconsin basketball returns home for a Saturday morning home game against Northwestern. The Wildcats beat Penn State 76-72 Wednesday night. Tip time is 11 AM on BTN.
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