Badgers finish off sweep of Illinois
Brust, Kaminsky lead Wisconsin scorers
Wisconsin 74, Illinois 68: Ben Brust scored 20 points as the visiting Badgers completed a regular-season series sweep of the Illini for the second straight season.
Frank Kaminsky, a 6-11 sophomore forward, came off the bench to score a career-high 19 points and Ryan Evans added 15 points and nine rebounds for Wisconsin (15-7, 6-3). The Illini, who came in averaging over eight 3-pointers per game, were limited to 2-for-13 shooting beyond the arc.
Guard Joseph Bertrand scored 17 points and center Nnanna Egwu finished with 14 points for Illinois (15-8, 2-7), which has lost six of its last seven games.
Illinois, which fell behind 14-0 in a 74-51 loss to the Badgers in Madison on Jan. 12, started much better in the rematch, taking a 16-14 lead at the 8:20 mark of the first half on a 3-pointer by guard D.J. Richardson. But the Badgers, behind 11 points by Brust, went on a 19-8 run after that to take a 33-24 halftime lead.
Illinois closed to within 35-30 early in the second half on an Egwu dunk and had a chance to cut it to three but Myke Henry missed a dunk after a Bertrand steal. Brust then nailed a 3-pointer a few moments later to start an 8-0 run by the Badgers, and Illinois never got closer than five points the rest of the way.
GAME NOTEBOOK: Senior G Brandon Paul, the Big Ten's No. 3 scorer (17.6) who was named to the John R. Wooden Award Midseason Top 25, did not start for Illinois for the first time this season but scored 13 points on 3-of-13 shooting. Paul had eight points on 1-of-11 shooting in the first meeting. ... Richardson moved past Johnny "Red" Kerr (1,299) into 21st place on the Illini career scoring list with his first-half 3-pointer. Richardson now has 1,307 career points. ... Illinois lost its fourth straight home game, the first time since the 2007-08 season that the Illini have dropped four in a row at home.
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