It was home sweet home for the Wisconsin Badgers, who returned to the Kohl Center following a three-game road trip and promptly ended a three-game losing streak by pounding Illinois 75-50.
Fans were treated to one of the best efforts by the Badgers against a Power 5 opponent this season, all while also celebrating the 20th anniversary of the first game at the Kohl Center.
It was a true team effort four Badgers players scored in double figures, led by the 18 points of freshman point guard Brad Davison. He was followed by junior Ethan Happ and Brevin Pritzl’s 16 points, while Khalil Iverson added 13 points in the win.
Happ didn’t just have 16 points, he also put up 10 rebounds and five assists on the night.
Everything that could go right did go right for Wisconsin. Even the biggest area of struggle for this team, the free throw line, was a huge success for the Badgers. UW shot 16 of 21 from the free throw line, adding to an overall shooting effort that saw the team hit on 53.1 percent of its shots on the night.
Wisconsin shot an even more incredible 66.7 percent in the first half alone to help put this game away.
Illinois had a few answers for the Badgers early on, but UW found a way to pick apart any defense the Illini through at them at it was over quickly because of it. Wisconsin’s patient offense early on pulled Illinois out of the speed-up tempo they would’ve liked to have played.
Wisconsin’s defense also showed up, holding the Illini to just 40.4 percent from the field in the loss.
An inability to shoot from the perimeter only compounded things for the Illini, who were just 1 of 14 from beyond the arc.
The Badgers will go back on the road on Tuesday, taking on the Iowa Hawkeyes. Tip is scheduled for 6pm CT and can be seen on ESPN2.