Badgers fall at Indiana to finish 2-6 in the month of February

A slow start and a cold finish doomed Wisconsin in a 74-70 loss at Indiana on Tuesday night.

The Badgers found themselves in a 15-point deficit with 6:06 left in the first half, as they had no answer for Hoosiers big man Kel’el Ware. The 7-footer scored 18 points in the half, going 9-for-10 from the field. He would finish the game with a game-high 27 points and 11 rebounds while missing just one shot all night.

Despite that, Wisconsin clawed its way back into the game, getting to with five at the half and eventually taking the lead with 9:29 left. But over the final 2:06 of the game, the Badgers didn’t score a point, while Indiana closed on a 6-0 run to snap a 4-game losing streak and drop coach Greg Gard’s club to 3-6 in games decided by single digits.

Chucky Hepburn paced Wisconsin with 15 points, seven rebounds and six assists. AJ Storr had 14 points, while Max Klesmit had 11.

Steven Crowl had 10 points and six rebounds, but was no match for Ware on the defensive end of the floor. Wahl dealt with foul trouble, playing just 25 minutes and scoring nine points.

Wisconsin did get a lift off the bench for John Blackwell, as the freshman scored 11 points. It was his first time scoring in double figures since Jan. 19.

Indiana, which was the third-lowest scoring team in the Big Ten coming in, shot a season-best 61.7 from the field and averaged more than 1.2 points per possession.

The Badgers finished the month of February just 2-6, going from No. 6 in the county and in first place in the Big Ten to unranked and on the outside looking in for one of the four double byes at the conference tournament in two weeks.

They’ll be back home Saturday as No. 13 Illinois comes to town. Wisconsin hasn’t beaten the Illini since 2019, a string of six straight losses.

The game was interrupted midway through the second half after a fire alarm went off, forcing the building to be evacuated. Officials said smoke in an elevator was the cause.