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Illinois' Giorgi Bezhanishvili (15) celebrates Illinois' 71-70 win over Wisconsin in an NCAA college basketball game Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2020, in Madison, Wis. (AP Photo/Andy Manis)Illinois' Giorgi Bezhanishvili (15) celebrates Illinois' 71-70 win over Wisconsin in an NCAA college basketball game Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2020, in Madison, Wis. (AP Photo/Andy Manis)

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WHAT HAPPENED

Ayo Dosunmu apparently has a knack for big shots against Big Ten teams. His late three-pointer — and team-high 18 points — put Illinois over the top for its first win against Wisconsin since the 2010-11 season.

WHAT IT MEANS

Building an NCAA tournament résumé is easier with some signature road wins. Illinois got its first Wednesday night against the Badgers and also moved up a spot or two in the hierarchy of the Big Ten.

WHAT’S NEXT

Headed to Champaign for an 11 a.m. Satuday tip is one of the hottest teams in the Big Ten. Rutgers brings a six-game winning streak to State Farm Center, including victories against Wisconsin, Seton Hall and Penn State.

Player of the game

Illinois guard Ayo Dosunmu

Dosunmu did most of his damage Wednesday night in transition. It’s where the Illini sophomore has been most effective this season. His biggest shot? A dagger to the Badgers in the half court, with a three-pointer with 46 seconds to play that was the difference in Illinois’ win. Dosunmu finished with 18 points, six assists and five rebounds.

Backcourt

Illinois A- | Wisconsin B

Dosunmu came through when it mattered most for the Illini, capping a strong overall performance, but he wasn’t it for the Illinois backcourt, with Alan Griffin also finishing in double figures for the fourth straight game. The Badgers had their own go-to guard in Kobe King, who scored an efficient, game-high 21 points.

Frontcourt

Illinois B | Wisconsin B

Kofi Cockburn used his physicality to his advantage against the Badgers’ Nate Reuvers. Foul trouble, though, was what held Cockburn in check, as he finished with 15 points and six rebounds. Giorgi Bezhanishvili chipped in eight points, while Micah Potter provided Wisconsin’s best post presence with 13 points, nine rebounds and three blocks.

Bench

Illinois A- | Wisconsin B+

Potter’s production off the bench tipped this one in the Badgers’ favor. The Ohio State transfer has only been eligible since late December, but he played his most complete game of the season against the Illini. Illinois had solid bench production, with Griffin continuing his breakout level of play and Andres Feliz another good option in the second unit.

Overall

Illinois A | Wisconsin B

Wednesday’s game was there for the taking for the Illini most of the night against the Badgers. It just took until the final 90 seconds to finally grab it and beat Wisconsin for the first time in 16 tries.

College/Prep Sports Reporter

Scott Richey is a reporter covering college basketball at The News-Gazette. His email is srichey@news-gazette.com, and you can follow him on Twitter (@srrichey).