The Illinois Fighting Illini ended a disappointing season on a sour note by losing 70-56 to the Wisconsin Badgers on Sunday. Illinois essentially played an even second half with Wisconsin, but it didn't matter after the Badgers built up a substantial lead in the first half.
Getting 38 points in the second half was a substantial improvement for Illinois after scoring just 18 in the first half, but the defense couldn't do enough to limit Wisconsin. The Badgers shot 45 percent from the field and 7-of-19 from three-point range, also doing major damage from the free throw line by going 21-of-27. Illinois shot 40 percent for the game, but just 4-of-17 from long range with significantly fewer opportunities from the charity stripe.
Brandon Paul led Illinois with 22 points on 8-of-17 shooting, but no other Illini had more than ten points. Meyers Leonard nearly had a double-double with eight points and 12 rebounds, but he failed to score in the first half and didn't a block shot in the entire game.
Wisconsin got 16 points apiece from Jordan Taylor and Josh Gasser. Those two, along with Jared Berggren, contributed every single free throw shot for Wisconsin on the night.
For more on these teams, visit Illinois blog Hail to the Orange and Wisconsin blog Bucky's 5th Quarter. Head over to SB Nation NCAA Basketball for more as we go deeper into March Madness.