Berggren, Jackson lead Badgers past Illini 74-51

Berggren, Jackson lead Badgers past Illini 74-51
January 12, 2013, 4:43 pm
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Wisconsin's Mike Bruesewtiz (31) pulls a defensive rebound away from Illinois' Tyler Griffey during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game, Saturday, Jan. 12, 2013, in Madison, Wis. (AP Photo/Andy Manis)

(APWF)

MADISON, Wis. (AP) Jared Berggren scored 15 points and grabbed a season-high 12 rebounds, and Traevon Jackson added a career-best 14 points to lead Wisconsin over No. 12 Illinois 74-51 Saturday.

The Badgers (12-4, 3-0 Big Ten) scored the game's first 14 points and led by 20 at halftime on the way to their sixth straight win.

It was a stunning performance from a team that scored just 47 in the previous game against Nebraska, but a supposedly slow and methodical team locked into a higher gear and ended the suspense almost as soon as the game began.

Whether they were making 3-pointers, driving for layups, putting back misses or throwing down dunks, the Badgers had their way in this one. They outshot Illinois 49.1 percent to 35.3 percent, making 10 of 23 3-pointers, and outrebounded the Illini 43-24.

Berggren was solid as usual.

Jackson eclipsed his previous high of 13 points and Sam Dekker also scored 13.

It was certainly not what Illinois (14-4, 1-3) envisioned coming off a 17-point loss to No. 8 Minnesota. The Illini have now lost four of six after winning their first 12 under new coach John Groce.

They set a season-low for scoring, with star Brandon Paul managing just eight points and making 1 of 11 shots. D.J. Richardson scored 16, but Illinois never had a chance in this one.

The Badgers led 39-19 at the break, with Jackson scoring 12 in the half after averaging just 4.7 points in the first 15 games. Berggren scored 11, including seven as Wisconsin took a 14-0 lead. His corner 3 and another shot from long range by Ben Brust capped that run. Paul gave Illinois its first point when he made 1 of 2 free throws with 13:13 left in the half, and Joseph Bertrand followed with a jumper to give the Illini their first basket.

But the Badgers scored 15 in a row and 18 of 20 to turn a nine-point edge into a 34-9 gulf, starting with three straight 3-pointers.

Sam Dekker buried one from the wing to get it going. Brust made one from well beyond the top of the arc, sending a roar through the stands, and Jackson followed with another one from up top after Berggren blocked a driving Paul.