Badgers upset No. 22 Illinois on road
Taylor leads Wisconsin past Illini for fourth consecutive win
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- Jordan Taylor scored 19 points and Jared Berggren added 18 to help Wisconsin upset No. 22 Illinois 67-63 on Sunday.
Taylor drove into the lane and hit a midrange jumper with 32 seconds left to give the Badgers (16-5, 5-3 Big Ten) a 62-57 lead with 32 seconds to play in what had been a back-and-forth battle.
Wisconsin has won four games in a row after dropping three consecutive conference games.
The Illini (15-5, 4-3) were led by Meyers Leonard's 16 points and 11 rebounds, while Joseph Bertrand added 15 points.
Illinois took a 50-46 lead with just over 9 minutes to play on a jumper by the 7-foot-1 Leonard. But the Badgers went on a 7-0 run to retake the lead.
Taylor hit a short jump shot, Mike Bruesewitz made a 3-pointer and Ben Brust added fastbreak layup that put the Badgers up 53-50. The sellout crowd at Assembly Hall went quiet as the Badgers bench, coaches included, jumped to their feet, many of them shouting a collective "Yeah!"
The Illini tied the game at 53-53 with 5:16 to play on a basket by Bertrand, but a jumper by Brust put the Badgers up for good, 55-53, with just over 5 minutes left.
The win was Wisconsin's fourth in a row and moved the Badgers back toward the top of the Big Ten has after they had dropped to sixth place.
Illinois' loss was its second consecutive since an upset of then-No. 5 Ohio State lifted the Illini briefly to first place in the Big Ten. Since then they have been upset at Penn State and been beaten by the unranked Badgers, their first home loss of the season.
Taylor had five points on 2-of-6 shooting in the first half in the face of some stiff defense.
D.J. Richardson added 13 points for the Illini and Brandon Paul had 10.
While Taylor struggled early for the Badgers, Bertrand found his shooting stroke midway through the first half, and finished with 12 points over the first 20 minutes. They included two on a drive and short jumper just before the buzzer that tied the game at 26-26.
Bertrand's early hot hand made up for a cold first half by Paul -- just two games removed from a 43-point effort against Ohio State -- and Richardson. Between them they went to the locker room with seven points on 2-of-12 shooting
Wisconsin finished with 10 turnovers, but had eight by the half -- one short of its average for a game. That and the Badgers' 2-of-8 shooting from the free throw line in the first half were the biggest reasons Illinois was in the game.