MADISON (WSAU-TSN) Jared Berggren recorded a double-double with 15 points and a season-high 12 rebounds, as Wisconsin outplayed and overwhelmed 12th-ranked Illinois, 74-51, at the Kohl Center.
Traevon Jackson contributed a career-high 14 points and freshman Sam Dekker added 13 points thanks to a trifecta of triples for the Badgers (12-4, 3-0 Big Ten), who have won six straight following a Dec. 8 loss at Marquette.
Illinois (14-4, 1-3) was led by D.J. Richardson, who tied a season high with 16 points. The Illini have dropped four of their last six games and nine straight Big Ten road games dating back to last season.
From the start, Illinois looked sluggish, failing to score a point until the almost seven minutes of game time elapsed on a Brandon Paul free throw. The Illini trailed by as many as 26, at 37-11, with just over two minutes remaining until halftime on a Jackson shot from long distance.
Bertrand hit a layup and the Badgers took a 39-19 advantage to the break.
Wisconsin made six 3-pointers in the first half, while Illinois converted just 1-of-8 from 3-point range. The Illini also struggled from the field, shooting a mere 6-of-23.
The Badgers opened up the second half in convincing fashion with back-to-back dunks by Ryan Evans and Berggren, plus a Dekker 3-pointer which extended the lead to 46-19. A Tracy Abrams jumper finally put the Illini back on the board just over four minutes in.
Illinois had a short stretch in which it outscored Wisconsin 10-0 to make the score 54-36 with 12:26 remaining, however, two free throws with a Dekker steal and slam brought the hosts' lead up over 20 once more and Wisconsin rolled to the victory.