The Wisconsin Badgers (18-8, 10-5 Big Ten) snapped their two-game losing streak by coming from behind to beat Illinois 64-58 at the Kohl Center on Monday night.
Brad Davison had 18 points and seven rebounds and Khalil Iverson added a career high 16 points with nine rebounds to lead the Badgers.
Wisconsin shot just 32.1% from the field in the first half, yet trailed the Illini by just one point at halftime. They converted 48.1% from the field in the second half to come from behind for the win.
Illinois (10-16, 6-9) saw its winning streak end at four games. Wisconsin also extended its winning streak against the Illini to 15 games. Wisconsin’s last defeat at the hands of the Illini took place on January 2, 2011.
The Badgers won the first meeting against Illinois last month, 72-60 in Champaign. In that game, Khalil Iverson had 12 points and seven rebounds.
Wisconsin’s Ethan Happ had just six points and three rebounds, just the second time this season he has scored in single digits. Happ sat on the bench for the final few minutes with the game still undecided. Coach Greg Gard said after the game that the decision was based on Happ’s three turnovers. But certainly Happ’s inability to make free throws may have contributed to the cause.
Happ was 0 for 3 at the free throw line on Monday night, 0 for 6 in the loss to Michigan State and 0 for 1 against Michigan. Three straight games without a made free throw. Teams have taken to fouling Happ on purpose late in games, knowing there’s a good chance it will mean an empty possession for the Badgers. For the season, Happ is shooting just over 43% at the line.
His struggles aren’t likely to go away anytime soon. With five games left in the regular season followed by the Big Ten Tournament and NCAA Tournament, it’ll be interesting to see just how Greg Gard handles close late game scenarios.
The Badgers are off until Saturday night when they travel to Evanston, Illinois to face Northwestern.