CHAMPAIGN, Ill. – Demetri McCamey scored 21 points and Mike Davis and Bill Cole added 11 each to lead No. 23 Illinois past Wisconsin 69-61 on Sunday.
McCamey, who had seven assists, scored 11 points over the final 5:15 for Illinois (12-3, 2-0 Big Ten). Davis grabbed 14 rebounds.
The Illini shot 66.7 percent from the field compared to Wisconsin's 42.9 percent, and they outrebounded the Badgers 34-25. Yet Wisconsin (11-3, 1-1) hung around, and pulled within 54-49 with 6:34 to play on a 3-pointer by Tim Jarmusz.
That left it to McCamey to finish off the game.
The senior guard hit a 3 on the break with 5:15 to play, never looking to pass before he drained the shot and gave Illinois a 59-49 lead.
After a 3-pointer by Jordan Taylor, McCamey answered with another one, dribbling out the final seconds on the shot clock before launching the shot that made it 63-52 with 2:58 to play.
The rest of the way, if Illinois had the ball, McCamey was handling it, forcing the Badgers to send him to the free throw line where he scored the rest of his points.
Taylor and Jon Leuer led Wisconsin with 19 points each. Taylor fouled out with 5 seconds left in the game.
Wisconsin clung to narrow leads through most of the game's first 7-plus minutes, hitting 3-pointers that kept the Badgers ahead even as they traded baskets with Illinois. The Badgers hit six 3s in the first half, three by Keaton Nankivil, who finished with 11 points.
Illinois took a 29-25 lead with 6:38 left in the first half on a drive and layup by Brandon Paul.
From there the Illini went on a 6-3 run that stretched the lead to 35-28 before the Badgers clawed back, finally closing within 35-34 on two free throws by Taylor.
Davis added a 12-foot baseline jumper with 38 seconds to play in the half, waving his arms and calling for more noise form the crowd as he gave Illinois a 37-34 lead it carried into the half.
The Illini moved ahead 45-38 on two free throws by McCamey with 13:53 to play, then stretched the margin to 10 on its next possession.
Cole buried a 3 for a 48-38 lead, igniting the crowd and earning chest bumps from Davis and Paul as Badgers coach Bo Ryan called a timeout.
Two minutes later, after two free throws by Leuer pulled the Badgers within eight, freshman center Meyers Leonard gave Illinois a 51-40 lead on a two-handed dunk and — drawing a foul by Mike Bruesewitz — a free throw.