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Leuer helps Wisconsin down Illinois

Jan 16, 2011 - 12:26 AM Madison, WI (Sports Network) - Jon Leuer scored 26 points and grabbed nine rebounds as No. 20 Wisconsin defeated 16th-ranked Illinois, 76-66 at Kohl Center.

Jordan Taylor went 16-of-18 from the free throw line and finished with 22 points for the Badgers (13-4, 3-2 Big Ten), who were coming off a disappointing 64-61 OT loss at Michigan State on Tuesday but avoided losing consecutive games for the first time in more than two years.

Keaton Nankivil added 14 points and seven boards as the Badgers won their 18th-straight game after a loss.

Demetri McCamey had 23 points to pace Illinois (13-5, 3-2), which have lost back-to-back conference games, including a 57-55 decision at Penn State this past Tuesday. Brandon Paul added 15 points in the loss.

"We lost two games," said Illinois head coach Bruce Weber. "But you can't get too high, you can't get too low, it's a tough league. Wisconsin lost to us and lost at Michigan State, and they came back and won. You're just going to have to keep going and keep making plays, and hope that one time you can go on the road and get an upset."

Wisconsin jumped out of the gates quickly in the second half by scoring the first 10 points after a slow first 20 minutes when the teams combined to make just 16 field goals. Nankivil book ended Taylor's layup with a pair of three pointers during the run, which gave Wisconsin a 37-25 advantage.

"I don't think we were doing anything differently," Taylor said. "I think shots just started to fall. Keaton (Nankivil) hit two big threes, and we were just being aggressive. I think the ball just started to fall our way. Shots weren't falling against them at their place and we weren't shooting very well in the first half, so I think it's just all about staying aggressive and eventually things will start to go your way if you stay positive and stay confident."

Mike Davis' layup put the Fighting Illini on the board with a layup but Wisconsin responded with another trey, this time from Mike Bruesewitz just over five minutes into the half.

The Badgers held onto he lead the rest of the way despite late game turnover issues, but the Illini could not capitalize as they went just 3-of-13 from the field during the last four minutes.

Meanwhile, Wisconsin would hold on as they scored the final 18 of its points from the charity stripe.

The home team gained early momentum and started with a 12-5 lead after Taylor made a jumper with 13 minutes left to play in the half, but the Illini tallied the next four points to make it a one-possession game.

Illinois took its first lead, 17-16, a few minutes later on Davis' pull up shot and Leuer's short jumper regained the lead for the Badgers.

The half remained tight with the Badgers lead only growing to four, while they held onto a 27-25 edge into the break thanks to a Tim Jarmusz three-pointer from the corner with five seconds left.

Game Notes

This is the second meeting in two weeks between these two rivals, the first going to Illinois in a 69-61 final in Champaign on January 2...The Illini own a 110-76 lead in the all-time series with Wisconsin. However, the Badgers have won eight of the last 12 meetings...Illinois is the only visiting team to win at the Kohl Center in the last 31 games, taking a 63-56 decision last February. Wisconsin has won 13 straight in Madison since...Both teams struggled from the floor with Wisconsin shooting 39.1 percent from the field, while the Illini only made 30.2 percent of their shots...The Badgers made 34- of-41 shots from the free throw line, while Illinois made 30-of-36 shots from the stripe.