Brown and McBride spur No. 6 Illini to 20th win
Madison, WI (Sports Network) – Dee Brown scored 16 points and backcourt mate
Rich McBride also tallied 16, as sixth-ranked Illinois won an important Big
Ten road game with a 66-51 victory over Wisconsin at the Kohl Center.
McBride drained 4-of-6 from beyond the arc and Illinois (20-2, 6-2 Big Ten)
shot 7-of-14 from three-point range for the contest.
James Augustine managed just seven points but was able to contribute on the
defensive end and on the glass with nine rebounds by staying on the court
after committing two early fouls. Brian Randle picked up the slack on the
interior with 12 points and added 13 rebounds and Jamar Smith made all four of
his shots to also contribute 12 points in the victory.
The streaking Illini won their fourth straight game and in the process moved
to the top of the crowded conference standings, holding a half game lead over
both Michigan and Iowa. Illinois also became the first team to reach the 20-
win plateau in major college basketball this season.
Alando Tucker led Wisconsin (15-6, 5-3) with 19 points and Kammron Taylor
scored 14 points in defeat. Brian Butch added 10 points and nine rebounds for
Wisconsin, which has lost two straight and four of its last five contests.
While Illinois was effective from long distance, Wisconsin made only 3-of-20
from beyond the arc.
With three-fifths of the Illinois’ starting lineup saddled with foul trouble
and the Badgers cutting the deficit to two, 44-42, on Tucker’s bucket with
just over 10 1/2 minutes left, momentum appeared to be shifting.
However, the battle-tested Illini persevered in a hostile environment.
An 11-1 spurt led by the foul-plagued Augustine and several role players put
the game out of reach. Augustine’s layup started the stretch, then Brown found
Smith for an open three. Brown and Tucker exchanged free throws and after an
Augustine layup, McBride drained a trey to give the Illini a 55-43 edge with
just less than eight minutes to play.
Illinois wasn’t tested the rest of the way.
The Badgers jumped out to a 24-13 lead just over midway through the opening
half. Taylor and Tucker spurred a 14-2 burst to open the 11-point edge. A trey
by Taylor started the spurt then after the guard’s three free throws, Tucker
used a strong post move to push Wisconsin’s advantage to double digits.
Illinois countered with a 19-0 run as the Badgers went cold from the floor.
McBride tallied eight points, including two long-distance bombs, and Randle
scored twice off offensive rebounds after Wisconsin failed to box out the
McBride’s second three tied the score at 24-24, then Augustine converted a
layup and Smith drained a trey. Another McBride three opened a 32-24 lead with
about 1 1/2 minutes remaining.
Wisconsin made one field goal in the final nine minutes and the Illini took a
34-28 advantage into the locker room.
Illinois holds a commanding 106-68 edge in the all-time series…Wisconsin
made 16-of-23 from the charity stripe, while the Illini made just 9-
of-16…With the victory, Illinois won at least 20 games for the seventh
straight season…Brown also dished out seven assists in the win.