The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

February 4, 2013

No defense for Illini


CHAMPAIGN — Former Illinois high school standouts Ben Brust and Frank Kaminsky combined for 39 points to lead Wisconsin past Illinois 74-68 on Sunday afternoon in a Big Ten Conference contest at the Assembly Hall.

Brust, who played at Mundelein, and Kaminsky, who played at Lisle Benet Academy, were part of a Badgers team that shot 56 percent and made 19-of-31 free throws in the second half.

It's the second straight game for the Illini defense to allow a team to shoot more than 30 free throws in the second half, coming on the heels of a 80-75 loss to Michigan State on Thursday.

"Unfortunately right now, I think our answer to playing hard is to foul and be undisciplined,'' said Illinois coach John Groce. "We can't be on five different islands, defensively. It's a team game.''

The loss is the fourth straight at home for Illinois, which falls to 15-8 overall and 2-7 in the Big Ten Conference.

Joseph Bertand, making his first start of the 2012-13 season, led the Illini with 17 points, followed by Nnanna Egwu with 14, while Brandon Paul, who was benched, finished with 13. Also scoring in double figures for Illinois were D.J. Richardson and Tracy Abrams with 10 points each.

Things don't get any easier for Illinois as the top-rated Indiana Hoosiers come to town this Thursday for a 6 p.m. game at the Assemby Hall in Champaign.