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Three quick takeaways from the Badgers 71-60 win over Ohio State

The Badgers pulled away in a tough road game against the Buckeyes.

NCAA Basketball: Wisconsin at Ohio State Joseph Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

The Wisconsin Badgers defeated the Ohio State Buckeyes 71-60 in a defensive battle, winning their fifth straight game and remaining undefeated in the Big Ten.

It was a hard-fought victory for the Badgers, who still managed to be efficient in a slower-paced game, averaging 1.246 points per possession, outpacing the Buckeyes, who scored only 1.07 points per possession.

Defensively, the Badgers gave up only 60 points, holding the Buckeyes’ guard tandem of Roddy Gayle Jr. and Bruce Thornton to 10/30 shooting.

Here are three quick takeaways from the Badgers 71-60 win over the Ohio State Buckeyes.

Mad Max

Max Klesmit saved the Badgers in this one.

After scoring 0 points in the first half, Klesmit went off for 18 points in the second half, including 10 straight for the Badgers, which snapped a stretch of 7:10 minutes without a field goal from 12:26 to 5:16 of the second half.

Klesmit, a player who has the ability to score, had just three points against Nebraska over the weekend, but came out firing in the second half, leading the Badgers, who needed field goals, away from the Buckeyes in the victory.

Additionally, Klesmit’s defense was integral for the Badgers in the second half, as he was able to shut down top scorer Jamison Battle, who scored just four points in the second half after the forward had 14 points in the first 30 minutes.

Without a scoring presence, the Buckeyes weren’t able to get much traction offensively in the second half, allowing the Badgers to pull away.

An underrated player on the team, Max Klesmit was a key reason why the Badgers won this game.

Steven Crowl’s injury

Prior to the game, the Badgers listed center Steven Crowl as questionable with what appeared to be a lower-body injury.

Crowl reportedly had a wrap on his left knee pre-game, and the broadcast noted that the injury occurred in practice yesterday while bumping knees with a teammate.

The Badgers’ big man was ultimately able to give it a go, playing 28 minutes in the win, but he didn’t look like himself.

Offensively, he didn’t have his normal bounce and struggled to back down opponents, while Crowl also had some issues on the defensive end against Felix Okpara.

The injury doesn’t appear too serious, as Crowl was able to go today, but the big man’s status will be something to monitor for this weekend’s matchup against Northwestern.

A.J. Storr

Just like Max Klesmit saved the Badgers in the second half, A.J. Storr was the reason why Wisconsin was in the game during the first half.

The Badgers ultimately ended the first half up 35-33, thanks to a late-half run, but Storr accounted for 15 of the team’s first 29 points, shooting 7/11 in the first 30 minutes.

It wasn’t settling either, as Storr took nine of his 11 shots inside the arc, looking to attack and find his shots.

Storr finished with 17 points, scoring just two in the second half on 1/4 from the field, but his first-half surge was the reason why Wisconsin was able to keep up offensively during the first 30 minutes.

In tough defensive games like Wednesday’s, the Badgers struggled to win in 2022 because they weren’t able to close them out, nor score enough to remain competitive.

That isn’t the case in 2023, and Storr’s emergence has played a big role in that.