Illinois overcomes Badgers, foul woes

Sunday, February 13, 2005

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- Dee Brown sat on the bench more than he had all season. He was on the court down the stretch, however, and hit two long 3-pointers to seal unbeaten and top-ranked Illinois' 70-59 victory over No. 20 Wisconsin on Saturday.

"Those were daggers," said teammate Deron Williams, who hit two key 3-pointers to ignite a 10-0 run early in the second half that erased a one-point Wisconsin lead and put the Illini (25-0, 11-0 Big Ten) in control.

"These guys got me the ball in good position," Brown said looking at Williams and Luther Head. "I just set my feet and took a couple of shots."

The Illini tied the school record with their 25th consecutive win. That streak was set over three seasons from February 1914 to February 1916. It was Illinois' 19th straight win at home and was played before a record Assembly Hall crowd of 16,865.

Head's 26 points tied his season high and came without benefit of a 3-pointer. He was 12 of 13 from the free-throw line.

But Brown brought the crowd's loudest roar of the day. Just after picking up his fourth foul, he hit the first big 3 with 3:10 to go and only 2 seconds remaining on the shot clock. It ended a 6-2 run by the Badgers and gave Illinois a 57-49 lead.

The Badgers got a basket from Kammron Taylor and Illinois' Roger Powell Jr. hit two free throws to make it 59-51 before Brown pushed Illinois' lead to double figures for the first time with an NBA-range jumper with 1:43 left that made it 62-51. He finished 4-of-6 from 3-point range.

"When a guy hits a 3 from that range, you don't have an answer for that," Wisconsin coach Bo Ryan said.

Brown finished with 16 points in a season-low 26 minutes. Williams scored 15 points.

Alando Tucker scored 24 points for the Badgers (16-6, 7-4).

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