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The Daily Cardinal Est. 1892
Wednesday, May 22, 2024
Senior forward Ethan Happ scored his 2000th career point with six minutes left Tuesday night, but the Badgers couldn't find any other offense down the stretch in a loss.

Senior forward Ethan Happ scored his 2000th career point with six minutes left Tuesday night, but the Badgers couldn't find any other offense down the stretch in a loss.

Struggling Wisconsin returns home to face Illinois

Nothing has come easy for the Wisconsin Badgers (2-4 Big Ten, 9-10 overall) during the 2017-’18 season. While close early season defeats to Xavier, Baylor and UCLA might have provided glimpses of hope for a group chock full of roster turnover, injuries and inconsistent play have continued to shape UW’s underwhelming season.

Friday night, coming off three consecutive road losses, the Badgers return home to face Illinois (0-6, 10-9), the only winless team in the Big Ten. But the Fighting Illini won’t be a walkover for UW.

Instead, Illinois has been competitive in each of its defeats. Three of UI’s losses have been in overtime. All six have been by 10 points or fewer. Most recently, the Fighting Illini fell 64-63 on the road at Nebraska, its second one-point loss in conference play.

Wisconsin, on the other hand, is coming off of a 28-point trouncing to Purdue. The Boilermakers jumped out to a quick 12-0 lead and never looked back. Redshirt junior forward Ethan Happ was UW’s lone double-digit scorer, as head coach Greg Gard desperately searched for answers. The Badgers haven’t scored more than 60 points since Jan. 2, and while sophomore guard D’Mitrik Trice returned to practice this week and would provide UW with a much needed offensive boost, his status for Friday night’s game is still unknown.

Tipoff is slated for 8 p.m., televised on FS1.

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