The University of Wisconsin men’s basketball team stopped the bleeding, at least temporarily.

Sophomore forward Sam Dekker hit some big shots in the second half and finished with 16 points as UW beat Illinois 75-63 Tuesday night in a Big Ten Conference game at the State Farm Center.

Senior guard Ben Brust also scored 16 points, while junior guard Traevon Jackson and freshman forward Nigel Hayes had 14 points apiece as the Badgers (18-5, 5-5 Big Ten) beat the Fighting Illini for the seventh consecutive time.

UW, which had lost five of their previous six games, shot 47.8 percent from the field, 43.5 percent from 3-point range and 80.8 percent from the free throw line to improve to 8-2 away from home this season.

Beating the last-place Illini isn’t going to convince anyone UW’s struggles are over for good, but it was at least something positive to build on for the Badgers.

“If we would have lost this game we would have been in an even deeper hole,” Dekker said after helping UW move into a three-way tie for fourth place in the Big Ten. “It’s good to climb out of it a little bit.”

UW has now won six of its past eight games in the building formerly known as Assembly Hall, which was filled with empty seats after a major snowstorm hit the area Tuesday. Only 4,185 fans went through the turnstiles, meaning more than 12,500 people who paid for a ticket chose to stay home.

Junior guard Rayvonte Rice finished with a game-high 24 points, but it wasn’t enough to prevent the Illini (13-10, 2-8) from losing their eighth consecutive game. That skid began with a 95-70 loss to the Badgers on Jan. 8 at the Kohl Center.

UW coach Bo Ryan, in an attempt to lighten the mood and help get the Badgers out of a team-wide shooting slump, decided to do a little something different during the team’s preparation for Illinois.

At the end of a video session on Monday before the team left Madison, Ryan showed a clip from the movie “Pleasantville” in which the members of the town’s high school basketball team form a semi-circle around the basket and all clang their shots off the rim.

“And I’m sure the guys are sitting there going, ‘Why in the hell did he show us that?’ ” Ryan said.

But Ryan wasn’t done. He then proceeded to show clips of each one of his regulars making a jumper, most of them from 3-point range.

“I don’t know if it loosened anybody up,” Ryan said. “Sometimes you do things to put a little different image out there, and if it doesn’t work, it’s like, ‘Man, that coach isn’t very smart.’ And I’m not even saying that that worked, but it might have loosened them up a little bit.”

The Badgers sure looked like a more relaxed team on Tuesday. After shooting a combined 19.5 percent from 3-point range in home losses to Northwestern and Ohio State last week, UW went 10 of 23 from beyond the arc against the Illini.

“We haven’t been shooting well lately,” Dekker said, “so it’s kind of nice to see the ball go in and guys taking shots with confidence.”

Dekker, who was 2 of 18 from 3-point range in his previous five games and missed his first two attempts against Illinois, made one late in the first half and it seemed to lift a load off his shoulders. He made three more 3-pointers in the second half, including two in a span of three possessions late in the game to help the Badgers close out the Illini.

“It was just me getting back to the basics, not leaning back, not doing anything unorthodox and nothing wasted,” said Dekker, who worked on his shot with assistant coach Gary Close after practice on Sunday. “If you have a lot of wasted motion, it’s going to go left or right or long or short. I just got back to slowing my mind down, slowing my body down and getting back into rhythm.”