Badgers rally past Illini for 15th straight win
Champaign, IL (Sports Network) – Kammron Taylor scored 20 points and Alando
Tucker added 17, as second-ranked Wisconsin notched its 15th straight win with
a 71-64 triumph over Illinois at Assembly Hall.
Greg Stiemsma chipped in 12 points for the Badgers (19-1, 5-0 Big Ten), who
closed the game with a 12-2 run and haven’t lost since a 66-64 decision
against Missouri State on November 24.
Wisconsin owns the nation’s longest winning streak and it is the longest for
the school since a 15-game run to end the 1940-41 season. The Badgers are also
5-0 in conference play for the first time since 1961-62.
Shaun Pruitt scored 19 points and grabbed 14 rebounds for Illinois (14-7,
2-4), which has lost five of its last seven games. Rich McBride contributed 15
points in defeat.
Illinois used a 10-1 run late in the second half and took a 60-57 lead on a
three-pointer by McBride with 5:07 to play. A trade of baskets still left the
Illini ahead by three with 4:01 remaining, but they would not hit another shot
from the field the rest of the way.
Stiemsma buried a 14-foot jumper to make it a one-point game and followed with
a pair of free throws with 2:06 left to put the Badgers ahead for good at
After Chester Frazier missed a shot for Illinois, a couple of calls went
Taylor had a three-point try partially blocked and Tucker appeared to go over
the back of an Illinois player to grab the loose ball. As both players fell to
the floor and no foul was called, Tucker freed the ball up for Taylor, who
drained a jumper from the elbow to give Wisconsin a 65-62 edge with just over
a minute left.
McBride then made one of two free throws for Illinois and Marcus Landry hit a
tough shot at the other end. He was also called for an offensive foul on the
play and Brian Randle made one free throw to leave the Illini down 67-64 with
32.6 seconds remaining.
Taylor then hit two from the stripe for the Badgers and Frazier misfired on a
three-point attempt before Michael Flowers converted two more from the line
for the final margin.
Wisconsin missed just three of its 21 free throws to offset a poor 3-for-16
effort from three-point range. Taylor was 8-for-8 from the stripe.
In a tight first half, Wisconsin scored six straight points to ignite a 12-2
run and two free throws by Taylor with 7:01 to play in the half gave the
Badgers a 27-18 edge. The Illini responded with a 10-4 burst to pull within
three, then went into the break down 35-31.
Illinois tied it at 39-39 on a jumper by Frazier early in the second half, but
Wisconsin followed with 12 of the next 16 points and took a 51-43 lead on a
free throw by Brian Butch with 9:42 remaining.
Illinois was just 14-of-23 from the line and made only 6-of-19 three-point
tries…Frazier scored nine points for the Illini…Landry had six points for
the Badgers, Butch finished with five and Flowers scored four…Wisconsin
improved to 4-0 on the road.