A Crimson Creaming

There won't be another home upset this week for No.11 Wisconsin. After stumbling Tuesday, the Badgers, thanks to 30 points from senior Jason Bohannon, play a near flawless game to oust Tom Crean and Indiana, blowing out the Hooisers, 83-55, Saturday afternoon at the Kohl Center.

MADISON - With the stinging loss to Illinois still ringing his fans' ears, senior guard Jason Bohannon stepped up to the post-game podium Tuesday and said quite simply that the Badgers were already focused on the next game.

It's hard to imagine that Bohannon will move on quickly from the career day he had Saturday afternoon.

Bohannon shattered his previous career high of 20 points by scoring 30 on 11-of-16 shooting to help No.11 Wisconsin wash the sour taste out of its mouth with an 83-55 whitewashing against an Indiana team that never had a chance.

"Anytime you have been in a system for three-and-a-half years, you're bound to get more experience when to attack and when to utilize certain aspects of your game," a much chipper Bohannon said after. "Every person on our team has gotten better throughout the years because they listen to coach and the coaching staff.

"I was just getting open shots and knocking them down."

Primarily used for deep shooting purposes his first few seasons, the improvement in Bohannon's game is evident for Wisconsin (19-6, 9-4 Big Ten). Not only is the senior from Marion, Iowa, averaging 12 points per game overall and 13.8 in conference play, both career highs, Bohannon is setting precedence with his defense – already setting personal bests in steals (29) and blocks (14) - and has become extremely dangerous when the ball isn't in his hands.

"(Bo's) players get better all the time and it's a microcosm of what they do," Indiana Coach Tom Crean said. "It doesn't put them out there until they're ready, gives them an opportunity to get their feet wet … and all along the way, they learn and Jason is a great example of that. Over the last two years, because he wasn't like this when I was at Marquette, is the way he comes off the dribble. He's so good off the dribble."

The 30-point outburst was the first since Alando Tucker scored 32 points vs. Pittsburgh on Dec. 16, 2006, which was fitting seeing as Tucker, a forward with the Minnesota Timberwolves, and New York Knicks forward Marcus Landry were sitting behind the bench; although it was Landry with a Bohannon jersey and Tucker with a Hughes jersey.

Bohannon also made a career-best seven three-pointers on 11 attempts to tie the school record, done most recently by junior Keaton Nankivil at Purdue, helping Wisconsin keep pace with the front runners of the Big Ten.

"We're playing every game like we have a chance," Bohannon said. "Why wouldn't we have a chance? That's the mindset we have."

The game unfolded perfectly for Wisconsin, as the start was the perfect opportunity for the Badgers to right the wrongs committed on Tuesday.

In the home loss to Illinois, snapping UW's 18 game home unbeaten streak and perfect 51-0 mark at the Kohl Center against unranked conference teams under Coach Bo Ryan, the Badgers scored the game's first eight points, led by as many as 11 points in the first half and didn't let the Illini reach double figures until the 8 minute, 23 second mark before giving it all away.

So one could imagine some hesitance when the Badgers scored the game's first eight points, led by 12 early and didn't let the Hoosiers break double digits until the 10:56 mark.

"We started out with a run against Illinois on Tuesday and felt pretty good," Ryan said. "You never relax and our guys didn't relax, we were just beaten by a team that played better that night. You get that run, you've got to sustain it (and) stay after it."

It didn't matter that there is a distinct different between first-place Illinois and ninth-place Indiana, as Wisconsin had a point to prove. When the first-half lead swelled to as many as 28, the Badgers assured the rest of the conference that they are still a factor in the title race.

"Against Illinois, we did a good job and stated out quick, but we didn't finish the game strong," Bohannon said. "Anytime you get a lead like that, you want to continue and build upon it. Tonight we did a very good job of doing that and not letting them back in the game. We wanted to keep pushing that lead further and further."

Wisconsin shot 50.8 percent from the floor (32-of-63), won virtually every hustle category imaginable, from rebounds (33-26, 15-8 on the offensive end) to steals (8-4) to blocks (3-0), and out scored Indiana in the paint 32-16 after registering only six points in the paint in its last contest

"We were two different teams from Tuesday to today," said senior Trevon Hughes.

Hughes added 16 points, all coming in the first half for the second straight game. After scoring 12 points in the first half against the Illini, including a three-point buzzer beater to end the half, Hughes missed all eight shots he took after halftime.

Being named one of the 11 finalists for the Bob Cousy Award, Hughes, averaging only nine points over his last four games, showed his moxie in the first half, scoring 16 points, grabbed three rebounds and made all four of his free throws, a troubled area for the senior in past contests.

"He made sure that when other people had shots, he was distributing the ball," Ryan said. "Plus we subbed quite a bit in the second half. Maybe it was a little disruptive. He'll be fine."

Indiana (9-15, 3-9) got 15 points from Christian Watford and 11 points on 4-of-12 shooting from flu-stricken Verdell Jones, but never amounted much of a threat against an angry Badgers team. Every time the Hoosiers were able to string together consecutive baskets, a defensive breakdown would allow Wisconsin to pad its lead soon thereafter.

"They chipped away a little, but we got it back and extended it again," Ryan said. "It's tough to play from behind. We try to make sure we didn't make it easy for them to chip into the lead."

Wisconsin's defense also gave Indiana fits. The Hoosiers started the game with a turnover that led to three-pointer by Hughes, only to start the second half with two turnovers, the first leading to Jordan Taylor (11 points) feeding Nankivil (nine points) in the paint for a thunderous dunk and the second caused by stout defensive positioning by Tim Jarmusz to draw an offensive foul on Watford.

For the game, Wisconsin turned 21 Indiana turnovers into 29 points and had 18 assists.

"Obviously, not very much went right for us today," Crean said. "Bottom line, I am looking forward to the day when we can come into this building and other buildings inside the Big Ten and really understand that (our mindset) is what can give us a chance."

If there was any possession that told the story for Wisconsin's Saturday triumph, it came with the Badgers well ahead in the 11th minute of the second half.

Sophomore Rob Wilson attacked the paint with no success but kicked the ball out to Hughes. Hughes drove the baseline and dished to Evans, who missed the jumper. Freshman Mike Bruesewitz was there for one of his team high seven rebounds (six on the offensive end).

"He was everywhere, but he's been doing that," Ryan said of Bruesewitz. "I think Mike's ready to contribute even more. He certainly showed that today."

Kicking the ball, Evans passed up the open look in favor of the hot-handed Bohannon, who hit a wide-open three-pointer.

It extended the Badgers' lead to 64-36, forced Crean to expend another timeout and helped the Badgers continue the streak of bouncing back from all six deficits with a resounding victory.

"We hate losing," said Hughes, "and we know the way we lose is when we get away from our game plan. If we stay in tune to that throughout the whole 40 minutes of the game, we'll be fine, and that's what we did tonight."

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