Beyond the Box: Wisconsin 76, Illinois 66

<b>Keaton Nankivil scored 14 points, but that two that he didn't score were as spectacular as any he did.</b>


Keaton Nankivil scored 14 points, but that two that he didn't score were as spectacular as any he did.

Jan. 15, 2011

MADISON, Wis. -- UWBadgers.com goes Beyond the Box score from Wisconsin's 76-66 win over Illinois.

Star of the Game
After a season-low 10 points at Michigan State, Jon Leuer bounced back with one of his biggest games of the year. Leuer scored a game-high 26 points on 9-of-16 shooting (7-for-8 at the free throw line) and pulled in nine rebounds. The 6-foot-10 forward scored 15 of his points in the second half, going 6-for-6 at the free throw line after intermission. Overall, 13 of Leuer’s 16 field goal attempts came from inside the 3-point arc as he repeatedly worked in the low post.

“Obviously I didn’t have a good performance against Michigan State,” Leuer said Saturday. “That definitely was motivation to come out and help the team more. I felt like, after Michigan State, that I let my team down by not being aggressive and making good plays and good reads. I felt like tonight I did a better job of that but it was a team win. It was a total effort from everybody.”

Play of the Game
In the play-by-play, it goes down as a missed dunk for Keaton Nankivil, but if you saw it, you would know it was so much more. Leading 58-47 with just over four minutes remaining, Nankivil found himself all alone in the lane and rose up off the dribble to throw down a powerful two-handed dunk. For the second time this season, Nankivil’s dunk attempt inexplicably bounced out of the net and turned into a missed shot attempt. Nankivil finished with 14 points and seven rebounds, but the two points he didn’t get still qualified as the play of the game.

Turning Point of the Game
Trailing 25-24 on the final possession of the first half, Wisconsin guard Jordan Taylor drove and kicked to the corner where Tim Jarmusz knocked down the Badgers’ only 3-pointer of the half. That shot gave UW a 27-25 lead at intermission and jump-started a second-half scoring spree. Wisconsin put together to a 10-0 run to open the second half and built a 37-25 lead to take command of the game.

“I was trying to get in the lane and make a play,” Taylor said of the final possession of the first half. “(Demetri) McCamey kind of ran off of Tim a little bit and I saw him open, hit him, and Tim hit a big shot. It’s always good when you can go into the break with a lead. It’s a big momentum builder and a big confidence builder, especially in a manner like that. It was a big shot.

Stat of the Game
34-of-41  |  Wisconsin converted 34-of-41 (82.9 percent) free throw attempts Saturday, its highest single-game total since attempting 44 in an 89-75 win over Pittsburgh on Dec. 6, 2006. The Badgers’ 34 made free throws are the team’s most since converting 34 of 41 in an 81-47 win over Eastern Illinois on Nov. 25, 2003.

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