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Defense, balanced attack propels Wisconsin past Illinois

Feb 21, 2008 - 6:21 AM CHAMPAIGN, Illinois (Ticker) -- Wisconsin's balanced attack led the Badgers to another conference road win.

Trevon Hughes scored 18 points and Marcus Landry added 17 as No. 10 Wisconsin cruised to a 71-57 victory over Illinois in Big Ten action on Wednesday.

Jason Bohannon chipped in 15 points off the bench for the Badgers, who won their fourth straight conference game away from home.

The win also moved Wisconsin (22-4, 12-2 Big Ten) into a first-place tie with Purdue (12-2) atop the league standings.

The Badgers got off to a slow start - trailing by four early - before going on a 21-7 run to take a 25-15 advantage with 6:21 left in the first half. Bohannon had 11 of his 13 first-half points during the run.

The Fighting Illini never got closer than six after that as Wisconsin held a 34-25 advantage at the break and quickly pushed its lead up to 45-30 on Landry's three-point play with 15:40 remaining.

Wisconsin maintained its double-digit lead for the majority of the half, taking its largest lead at 57-41 with 7:23 left to play.

Illinois, which made only 4-of-15 shots from the arc, cut the deficit to 61-52 with under five minutes to play.

But Landry answered the Illini run with a 3-pointer and made one of two free throws on Wisconsin's next possession to push the lead back up 13, and the Badgers were never threatened again.

The Illini (11-16, 3-11) committed 20 turnovers - compared to just seven for the Badgers - and made 17-of-39 (44 percent) of their field goals.

Freshman Demetri McCamey had 18 points and Shaun Pruitt chipped in 16 for Illinois, which has now lost seven of its last nine contests.

The setback also guarantees the first losing season for the Illini since 1999.