MADISON, Wis. (AP) Wisconsin’s Max Klesmit acknowledges his style of play can frustrate opponents.

That’s particularly true when Klesmit performs the way he did Friday night.

Klesmit scored 20 consecutive Wisconsin points during a second-half span of just over 4 1/2 minutes, and the 11th-ranked Badgers beat Indiana 91-79 to continue their home mastery of the Hoosiers.

Klesmit capped his dominant stretch by hitting a pair of free throws after Indiana reserve guard CJ Gunn was ejected for elbowing him in the side of the face with 12:42 remaining.

“With the chip I play on my shoulder, I guess some guys can kind of look at that as super aggression, maybe a little out of control,” Klesmit said. “But in my mind, it's nothing ever that's out of my control. It's always kind of just the way I play.”

Wisconsin (14-4, 6-1 Big Ten) has won its last 20 home games against Indiana and hasn’t lost to the Hoosiers in Madison since 1998, the Kohl Center's inaugural season. It's the longest road skid for Indiana against any opponent; Purdue won 19 consecutive home games over Indiana from 1901-22.

Klesmit scored 23 of his 26 points in the second half and went 5 of 7 on 3-point attempts. It was his highest-scoring game for Wisconsin; he scored 27 points for Wofford in January 2022.

He has gone 15 of 22 from beyond the arc over his last five games, including 12 of 16 in his last three.

“He's obviously extremely confident,” Wisconsin coach Greg Gard said. “He's worked on his game, too. He's gotten better. He's better physically. He's quicker. He's changed his body in a positive way. I think the confidence for him, that started late last year and blossomed in the offseason, and obviously it's showing now.”

Indiana (12-7, 4-4) was missing 7-footer Kel’el Ware - its top rebounder and second-leading scorer - due to a lower-leg injury.

“He went down in practice, came down on somebody's foot and turned his ankle, and it blew up on us,” Indiana coach Mike Woodson said.

Wisconsin extended its Big Ten lead to a full game over No. 2 Purdue, which visits Iowa on Saturday.

AJ Crowl added 15 points and Steven Crowl had 12 points, eight rebounds and eight assists for the Badgers. Chucky Hepburn also scored 12 points.

Malik Reneau scored 28 points, Mackenzie Mgbako 17 and Trey Galloway 10 for Indiana.

Klesmit made back-to-back 3-pointers that extended Wisconsin’s lead to 49-33 with 16:52 left. Indiana responded with a 9-0 run.

Klesmit ended Indiana’s spurt by hitting a 3-pointer. He then made another 3 from in front of Wisconsin’s bench while getting fouled, and he completed the four-point play to make it 56-42.

He later added a three-point play, a steal and layup and two free throws as part of an 18-2 run that gave Wisconsin a 67-44 advantage.

The free throws followed Gunn's ejection. During a break in the action, Klesmit bowed his head toward the upper part of Gunn’s chest. Gunn responded by elbowing Klesmit in the left side of the face.

“The kid put his head on (Gunn's) chest, and (Gunn) threw a semi-elbow,” Woodson said. “I don't think it was something hard that warranted being kicked out of the game.”


Indiana: The Hoosiers shot 53.8% but allowed Wisconsin to shoot 59.6% in the second of three straight games against top-15 opponents. Indiana lost 87-66 to Purdue on Wednesday.

Wisconsin: Three nights after their six-game win streak ended with an 87-83 loss at Penn State, the Badgers regained their momentum. Wisconsin now awaits word on reserve guard Kamari McGee, who was helped to the locker room after taking a fall under the basket in the second half. Gard expressed cautious optimism about McGee after the game.


Indiana: At No. 14 Illinois on Jan. 27.

Wisconsin: At Minnesota on Tuesday.


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