The Wisconsin Badgers men’s basketball team (13-6, 5-3 Big Ten) held on late to defeat the Illinois Fighting Illini (5-14, 1-7) in Champaign Wednesday night by a final score of 72–60. The Badgers staved off an Illini comeback to earn their second consecutive victory after beating No. 2 Michigan Saturday afternoon.In his post-game press conference on the Big Ten Network, Head Coach Greg Gard was happy to escape with a win after Illinois kept things interesting all night.Men’s basketball: Happ, Wisconsin stun No. 2 Michigan in front of sold-out Kohl CenterThe University of Wisconsin men’s basketball team (12-6, 4-3 Big Ten) upset No. 2 Michigan (17-1, 6-1) 64–54 at the Read…“They don’t call it an ugly win for no reason, but the bottom line is we got the victory,” Gard said.An “ugly win” is putting it lightly, as Wisconsin looked rough from the opening tip. Despite shooting 7-7 from the floor while holding Illinois to 6-14 shooting in the same stretch, the usually sure-handed Badgers had seven turnovers in the first nine minutes of the game. This allowed Illinois to keep it close, with the score sitting at 18–18 midway through the first half.Illinois maintained their defensive prowess throughout the first half, holding Wisconsin to 5-19 shooting and forcing three more turnovers, bringing the Badgers’ total to a season-high 10 first-half turnovers.Wisconsin got into foul trouble quickly in the second half with nine fouls in the first five minutes and 30 seconds, putting Illinois in the double bonus early. The Illini would pull within one at the 11 minute, 30 second mark in the second half with a score of 44–43. Despite the foul trouble and an additional six turnovers in the second half, the Badgers pulled away late to win 72–60.Men’s Basketball: Struggling Badgers look to clean things up before MarchThe University of Wisconsin men’s basketball team (12-6, 4-3), fresh off a dramatic upset of No. 2 Michigan, is getting Read…The star of the game was again Ethan Happ, but for all the wrong reasons. The senior finished with a season-low nine points Wednesday, ending his consecutive 10-point game streak at 42 games — one short of the University of Wisconsin record held by Alando Tucker.In lieu of Happ’s unusual production on the offensive end, sophomore Nate Reuvers finished with a career-high 22 points and added 10 rebounds. Junior Khalil Iverson also filled the box score with 12 points, seven rebounds, two blocks and two steals. For Illinois, freshman Giorgi Bezhanishvili finished with 20 points and eight rebounds.Up next for the Badgers, they’ll take on the Northwestern Wildcats at the Kohl Center Saturday at 1:15 p.m. Catch the game on the Big Ten Network or the Badger Radio Network.
Dicaire admits that as former player he will most likely miss being on ice during games, but says he felt comfortable running his first practice and is happy to now be behind the bench.“Once the games start I’ll be standing behind the bench. I’ll probably miss it a little bit but I actually enjoyed myself out there,” he states. “It’s nice not having to play and hold yourself accountable for what you’re putting them through.”On the first day all the new coach wanted to see were players taking part as he kept things pretty simple during the initial session.- Advertisement -“I was hoping to see numbers and lots of guys coming out. We ended up having 19 guys so it was perfect,” Dicaire says. “We could run a fairly skating practice. It was lots of long shooting drills. It was good; I was happy with what I saw. Guys are tired but we’ve only got three practices before we play exhibition and we’ve got to lock in some systems here in the next two.”The aforementioned systems that Dicaire hopes to implement involve going back to the fundamentals by starting with the blue line and going forward.“Simple. Like I told the guys on the ice we’re going to start in the D-zone. We’re going to go back to basics; we’re going to learn to play there first, work our way to the neutral zone and be creative in the offensive zone,” he explains. “We’ll take these two exhibition games and see how we’re doing with them. Three skates isn’t much to implement a system right off the bat so we’ll see how those two games go and then reassess it from there before the regular season starts.”Advertisement The Flyers have typically fielded very competitive teams throughout the years and as such, Dicaire isn’t shy about what his goal is from the upcoming North Peace Hockey League season.“My goal for the season is to win the league we’re playing in: the NPHL,” he says without hesitation. “That’s why I took on this job and hopefully the boys follow suit.”The Flyers’ next two practice sessions are scheduled for Friday and next Wednesday at 8:15 p.m., before they take on the Fort Nelson Yeti at 8:30 p.m. next Friday and Saturday at the North Peace Arena.