The Sam Dekker that Wisconsin men’s basketball fans have grown accustomed to is back.
After the sophomore forward endured one of the tougher slumps of his short career at Madison—hitting just seven of 24 shots in the Badgers’ three previous games—Dekker broke out Tuesday night in Champaign, Ill., going for 16 points and hitting four of his seven shots from beyond the arc.
Behind Dekker’s hot hand, Wisconsin (18-5, 5-5 Big Ten) broke its two-game losing skid, taking down Illinois (13-10, 2-8) 75-63 in the State Farm Center.
Ben Brust matched Dekker’s team-high 16 points on 4-10 and two threes, while freshman Nigel Hayes continued his hot streak going for 14 points and hitting four of his seven shots from the free throw line.
The Badgers had four players in double figures with Dekker, Brust, Hayes and Traevon Jackson all eclipsing 10 points.
After hitting just 20 percent of its three-point attempts in its last two games, Wisconsin converted 43.5 percent of its long-range attempts hitting 10 of its 23 shots.
Rayvonte Rice led the way for the Illini, scoring a game-high 23 points and grabbing nine boards as Illinois had three players score in double figures.
The Badgers shored things up at the free throw line, missing only five of their 26 shots after going 19-29 from the line in their one-point loss to Ohio State last Saturday.
Wisconsin now has four days to prepare for No. 9 Michigan State who comes into the Kohl Center Sunday afternoon at noon.