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The No. 24 Wisconsin badgers got more than they bargained for on Wednesday night against the visiting Illinois state Redbirds.

UW was without five players due to illness – most notably rotation players Jahcobi Neath, Ben Carlson, and Lorne Bowman.

Despite playing short handed, Wisconsin narrowly edged out Illinois State 89-85 in a game that was too close for comfort.

For the Badgers, it was a disappointing night defensively, allowing a season high 84 points on 50% shooting.

UW took good care of the basketball (just 6 turnovers), assisted on 14 of 28 made baskets, and had a balanced scoring attack that saw four players reach double figures.

Notable UW stat lines:

Steven Crowl: 21 points (career high), 9 rebounds.

Johnny Davis: 20 points, 11 rebounds (career high), 4 assists.

Tyler Wahl: 18 points (16 in the second half), 6 rebounds.

Chucky Hepburn: 13 points, 4 assists.

Wisconsin would also win the rebounding battle (42-35).

UW reportedly paid Illinois state $80,000 to travel to Wisconsin to play at the Kohl Center.

Wisconsin is set to re-enter Big-Ten play with a 10-2 record. Their next game comes on the road against #3 Purdue on January 3rd.

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