Junior forward Ethan Happ had 27 points, eight assists, six rebounds and three blocked shots to help Wisconsin end a five-game slide with a 78-69 victory over Illinois on Thursday in Big Ten play at State Farm Center in Champaign, Ill.
Sophomore guard Brevin Pritzl tallied 15 points for the Badgers, who defeated the Fighting Illini for the 13th consecutive time. Freshman guard Brad Davison added 14 points as Wisconsin (11-15, 4-9 Big Ten) notched its sixth straight road win in the series.
Freshman guard Trent Frazier scored a career-best 32 points and matched his season best of seven 3-pointers for Illinois (12-13, 2-10). Junior forward Leron Black added 13 points and 11 rebounds for the Illini, who shot 38.2 percent from the field.
The Badgers shot 53.2 percent from the floor and were 8 of 15 from 3-point range. Illinois hit 9 of 24 3-point attempts.
The score was knotted at 52 when Happ converted a layup to start an 8-0 run. He also made one to end the spurt to give Wisconsin a 60-52 lead with 6:28 remaining.
The lead reached 66-56 when Pritzl connected on a 3-pointer with 4:47 left.
Illinois crept within 71-67 on a 3-pointer by Frazier with 2:23 remaining. However, Pritzl hit four consecutive free throws to push the Wisconsin lead to eight, and the Badgers closed it out to improve to 2-8 on the road this season.
Happ had 16 first-half points on 7-of-10 shooting, and the Badgers possessed a 36-33 lead at the break.
The Illini led 24-20 after a basket by Black with 7:36 remaining before Wisconsin answered with a 14-4 surge. Freshman forward Nate Reuvers hit two free throws to culminate the run and give the Badgers a 34-28 edge with 2:08 to play.
Wisconsin increased the advantage to six before Frazier nailed a 3-pointer with six seconds left to pull Illinois within three points.
Frazier knocked down another 3-pointer to give the Illini a 39-38 edge with 18:07 remaining in the game. Happ scored the final four of a 6-0 run to give the Badgers a 44-39 edge with 15:10 left.
Frazier continued his long-range marksmanship by draining 3-pointers to tie the score at 44, 49 and 52.
—Field Level Media