Frantic finish can't overcome dismal first half shooting for Badgers


For the final three and a half minutes of Saturday's game between No. 23 Wisconsin and No. 5 Illinois, Badgers guard D'Mitrik Trice made every shot he got his hands on.

Unfortunately for Wisconsin, there were 36 and a half minutes where Trice and his teammates probably felt like they couldn't throw the ball in the ocean from the deck of the Titanic.

The Badgers started the game an ice-cold 1 of 15 from the field, ultimately making just 3 of 14 three-point attempts (21.4%) and 10 of 37 shots overall (27.0%) in the first half. Wisconsin finished the game 10 of 31 from beyond the arc (32.3%) and 24 of 69 (34.8%) overall, mostly due to Trice's suddenly hot shooting hand in the frantic final minutes of the game.

From the time there was 2:14 on the clock to 6.7 seconds left in the game, Trice scored 19 consecutive points, to close the game to within one point at 70-69, before Wisconsin surrendered four final points as the Illini iced the game at the free throw line. Overall, Trice scored 29 points to lead all scorers. Illinois was led by Kofi Cockburn's 19 points and seven rebounds.

There are only two games left for Wisconsin (16-9, 10-8 Big Ten) before the conference tournament; Tuesday at Purdue and March 7 at Iowa.

for the ages, Trice scored 19 consecutive points, nine on a trio of three-pointers, for UW as the Badgers closed to within 70-69 with 6.7 seconds left.