Illinois contains Wilkinson

Badger senior forward scores 13 points

MADISON – Considering the success Mike Wilkinson has had in recent games, it was obvious the Illinois men's basketball team entered the contest Tuesday with a game plan designed to never let the Badger senior get going.

"They did a good job denying the ball inside," Wilkinson said. "They did a good job of putting pressure on the guards. There wasn't just one thing. When I got the ball inside they did a good job of running people at me."

The Illini checked Wilkinson with senior forward Roger Powell in the first half and used junior forward James Augustine and senior forward Jack Ingram on him in the second half.

In the first half, Wilkinson and sophomore forward Alando Tucker were a combined 1-of-5 from the field for a total of five points. But in the second half, the two got off to a quick start and helped Wisconsin build a lead.

Tucker and Wilkinson scored the Badgers first six points after halftime, but more importantly were aggressive in the post. Both players, especially Wilkinson, made a conscious effort of going straight at the hoop when the opportunity presented.

The two accounted for 24 of UW's 32 points in the second half.

"They went to Wilkinson, we did a nice job on him in the first half and just came out and said we're going to him," Weber said. "But it wasn't our post guys. It was our perimeter guys. They just let the ball swing wherever they wanted. Now they're [going] inside and he's just picking us apart and that was what I was upset about."

Wilkinson's scoring burst in the second half, however subsided as the game went progressed.

"We also finally got a couple post traps that kind of messed him up a little bit," Weber said.

The Illini also kept Wilkinson off the glass. After averaging 10.7 rebounds per game in his last three games, Wilkinson had just five Tuesday night.

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