The Illinois Fighting Illini couldn't hold on for the victory in a 67-63 defeat against the Wisconsin Badgers on Sunday. The loss effectively ensures that Illinois will drop out of the top 25 just one week after entering it. The Fighting Illini, currently ranked No. 22 nationally by AP, also lost to the Penn State Nittany Lions earlier this week.
Things were extremely tight during the entire game, but Wisconsin got some key stops and made the free throws on the other end to keep Illinois away. Illinois trailed 58-57 following a D.J. Richardson jumper with roughly three minutes left, but the Fighting Illini failed to score on consecutive possessions while the Badgers extended their lead to five points. That advantage proved to be too large with Wisconsin's Jordan Taylor knocking down five straight free throws down the stretch.
Taylor had a big game for Wisconsin, leading the Badgers with 19 points in addition to grabbing nine rebounds and dishing five assists. Jared Berggren was also huge for Wisconsin, scoring 18 points. Meyers Leonard led Illinois with 16 points and 11 rebounds, one of four Illinois plays to score ten or more points. Joseph Bertrand finished the game with 15 points, most of them coming in the first half.
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