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Big Ten No. 13 Illinois beat Wisconsin 91-83

MADISON, Wis. — Marcus Domask hasn’t played a game at the Kohl Center since his high school career ended with a loss in the state championship game five years ago.

He made sure his first match ended differently. Domask returned to his home state and scored 31 points as No. 13 Illinois continued its recent mastery of Wisconsin by beating the weakened Badgers 91-83 on Saturday.

Domask, who attended high school in Waupun, Wisconsin, about 60 miles northeast of Madison, said he had about 200 to 300 friends and relatives scattered around the stands. He knew most of them generally supported the Badgers.

“There were a lot of people wearing an Illinois jersey for the first time today,” Domask said. “And they told me they loved the game, they loved the game, but they never played it again.”

This was the first time the 2019 Wisconsin Mr. Basketball selection from Waupun High School played in his home state during his college career. Domask spent four seasons at Southern Illinois before transferring to Illinois.

He celebrated his homecoming by scoring the go-ahead basket and finishing just two points shy of his career high.

“Most guys when they come home, they get a little excited, a little nervous, and that’s when it’s worrying about all the other stuff,” Illinois coach Brad Underwood said. “He just focuses on the game and that’s a unique quality, he really is.”

Terrence Shannon Jr. added 23 points as Illinois beat Wisconsin for the sixth straight game; This represents the longest winning streak in the series since the Illini defeated the Badgers 16 straight times from 1981-89. Wisconsin has beaten Illinois 15 straight times during that stretch.

The Illini also became the first visiting team to win four straight at the Kohl Center since 1998.

Illinois (22-7, 13-5) sits 1 1/2 games behind No. 2 Purdue in the Big Ten standings, while the Boilermakers host Michigan State on Saturday night. Wisconsin (18-11, 10-8) has lost seven of its last nine games.

The Badgers were inspired and took a 14-5 lead after a pregame ceremony in which former Badgers assistant coach Howard Moore made his first public appearance at the Kohl Center since the May 2019 car crash that killed Moore’s wife and daughter and seriously injured him.

However, they could not complete the deal as their decline continued at the end of the season.

Wisconsin’s Chucky Hepburn, who scored 15 points, said, “How we finish the games is an important issue.” “We’ve got to figure this out real quick, otherwise… it’s going to be a quick March for us.”

Wisconsin also got 20 points from Tyler Wahl, 16 from Max Klesmit and 13 from AJ Storr.

Domask, who brought the score to 68 with 5 minutes and 44 remaining in the game with a 3-point field goal by Wisconsin’s John Blackwell, scored six points in Illinois’ 13-3 series. Domask started the attack with a basket that put the Illini ahead for good with 5:25 left.

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Illinois: The Illini have scored at least 80 points in nine straight games; The team, which achieved its longest winning streak since 1988-89, scored more than 80 points in 12 consecutive games on its way to the Final Four. They shot 51.8% and earned their third straight win with an impressive performance in a hostile environment.

Wisconsin: No matter how poorly they’ve been playing lately, the Badgers are still guaranteed a berth in the NCAA Tournament. Wisconsin entered Saturday ranked No. 5 or No. 6 in most bracket predictions. But unless they strengthen their defense, their postseason run won’t last long.

Next

Illinois: It will host No. 2 Purdue on Tuesday.

Wisconsin: It will host Rutgers on Thursday.

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