Local Teams

National Basketball Association
Wisconsin 89, Illinois St. 85
When: 8:00 PM ET, Wednesday, December 29, 2021
Where: Kohl Center, Madison, Wisconsin
Officials: # Courtney Green, # Steve Honacki, # Bill Ek
Attendance: 15718

Steven Crowl scored a career-high 21 points and Johnny Davis added 20 as No. 24 Wisconsin held off Illinois State 89-85 on Wednesday in a nonconference game in Madison, Wis.

The Badgers returned to the court for the first time in two weeks.

Wisconsin (10-2), playing without five reserves, led by 17 early in the second half but saw the Redbirds pull within 73-72 on a 3-pointer by Antonio Reeves with just under five minutes left.

Tyler Wahl's lay-in put the Badgers up 80-75 with 3:08 remaining. Reeves converted a turnover into a breakaway jam to make it 81-80 with 1:58 left.

Brad Davison and Wahl each hit two free throws to extend the lead to 85-80 with 46.6 seconds left. Josiah Strong hit a deep trey from the top to make it 85-83 with 12 seconds remaining. Davison hit two free throws with six seconds left.

Reeves had 23 points for the Redbirds (8-6) before fouling out with 1:13 left. Sy Chatman had 22 points and also fouled out in the closing minute. Kendall Lewis and Josiah Strong each added 15 points.

Wahl added 18 points and freshman point guard Chucky Hepburn scored 13 for Wisconsin. Davis, a 6-foot-5 sophomore guard, pulled down a game-high 11 boards but made just 6 of 23 shots. Crowl, a 7-foot sophomore center, made 7 of 8 shots and added nine rebounds. His previous scoring high was 18.

The 85 points were the most allowed this season by the Badgers who had not played since a 71-68 home victory over Nicholls State on Dec. 15, in which Davis was unavailable due to a non-COVID illness.

Wisconsin's game scheduled for last Thursday was canceled, rescheduled with fill-in opponent George Mason, then canceled again due to COVID-19 issues in the Badgers program.

Chatman hit a jumper to open the second half and pull the Redbirds within 46-38, but Brad Davison hit a 3-pointer from the left top and Wahl scored six consecutive points to boost the lead to 55-38.

Illinois State, which trailed 29-9 midway through the first half, rallied within 36-31 on Chatman's second-chance dunk. Crowl's 3-pointer extended the lead to 46-36 at the half.

Wisconsin was without key reserves Lorne Bowman II, Ben Carlson, Jahcobi Neath, as well as Justin Taphorn and Carter Higginbottom. The team did not provide a reason for their absence. Illinois State was without part-time starter Howard Fleming Jr.

The Badgers return to Big Ten play on Monday at third-ranked Purdue. Illinois State gets back to Missouri Valley Conference action Sunday at Valparaiso.

--Field Level Media

Top Game Performances
Illinois St.   Wisconsin
Antonio Reeves 25 Scoring Steven Crowl 21
Antonio Reeves 4 Assists Jonathan Davis 5
Sy Chatman 8 Rebounds Jonathan Davis 11
Sy Chatman 8 Free Throws Made Jonathan Davis 8
Sy Chatman 1 Steals Jonathan Davis 1
Liam McChesney 2 Blocks Jonathan Davis 1
Team Stats Summary
Team Points FG% 3PM-3PA FTM-FTA Assists Rebounds Blocks Steals Turnovers
Illinois St. 85 49.2 9-23 16-22 13 32 4 4 9
Wisconsin 89 41.8 8-22 25-32 16 40 2 3 6