first_imgIOWA CITY, Iowa – It wasn’t quite as easy as it was on Jan. 20, but No. 5 Wisconsin  defeated the Iowa Hawkeyes for the second time in eleven days at Carver-Hawkeye Arena in Iowa City, Iowa.With just a six point lead at the half, the Badgers shut down the hot-shooting Hawkeyes in the second half while Frank Kaminsky scored a game-high 24 points as the Badgers knocked off Iowa 74-63.Wisconsin scored the first five points of the second half to open up an 11-point lead with 18:37 left in the game, but from there, both teams would struggle to score and after Iowa closed Wisconsin’s lead to six with 16:10 remaining, it would not make another field goal until nine minutes and 25 seconds left in the game. Following a field goal from Mike Gesell at the 9:25-mark, Iowa’s next field goal didn’t come until three minutes and 30 seconds left in the second half on a layup by Gabriel Olaseni.By that time, the Badgers had a 65-54 lead and were well in control as they held the Hawkeyes the rest of the way and made their free throws down the stretch to win their fourth straight game and remain in first place atop the Big Ten standings.While the Hawkeyes struggled offensively in the second half, so did the Badgers, as they were just 8 of 24 (33.3 percent) in the half and only 2 of 8 (25 percent) from three. While Wisconsin was struggling to score, it could have been an opportunity for the Hawkeyes to take the lead, but UW’s defensive efforts prevented that from happening.“That could have been a time that changed the tide,” Wisconsin head coach Bo Ryan said of his team’s offensive struggles in the second half. “But it didn’t so we kept plugging defensively. Kept getting it back.”Iowa didn’t go away quietly and kept chipping away at the Wisconsin lead for the majority of the second half. But anytime the Hawkeyes began to close the gap, the Badgers always seemed to respond.Josh Gasser hit a huge three with the shot clock winding down mid-way through the second half after Nigel Hayes threw down a put-back dunk earlier in the half. Wisconsin used 15 offensive rebounds to score 16 second chance points Saturday and converted 21 of its 26 free throw attempts.With the memory of the Michigan game fresh in the Wisconsin players minds, they weren’t going to let another 11-point lead slip away on the road.“Well, if you look at last week, against Michigan, we had an 11-point lead and we let them chip it down and eventually tie the game,” Kaminsky said. “But we didn’t want that to happen again, so we just knew in our minds that we had to get stops and convert on offense.”Four players for Wisconsin, Nigel Hayes (14), Sam Dekker (11), Josh Gasser (11) and Kaminsky (24) scored in double-figures Saturday. Kaminsky led the Badgers in rebounding with nine while Dekker had eight, including five offensive rebounds. Once again, every starter for UW hit a three with both Gasser and Kaminsky leading the way, going 2-for-4 from beyond the arc.After allowing Iowa to score 22 points in the paint in the first half, the Badgers held the Hawkeyes to only 10 points in the paint second half. It was a large reason why Iowa struggled offensively in the final 20 minutes of play.“In the first half we made a couple mistakes, couple communication mistakes,” Hayes said. “I think we did a better job of switching which made it harder for them to get into the lane which works to our advantage.”Wisconsin took a 42-36 lead into halftime after both teams shot over fifty percent from the floor in the first half. Iowa finished 16-for-25 (64 percent) while the Badgers were 15-for-38 (54 percent). The game stayed fairly close in the first half with Wisconsin taking the largest lead of the half at eight points with 9:02 left.The Badgers used seven offensive rebounds in the first half to convert 10 second chance points while making seven free throws to Iowa’s one to take the lead from the hot-shooting Hawkeyes. Both teams combined for just one first half turnover.Kaminsky had a game-high 11 points at the half while Dekker had nine points and a team-high five rebounds for UW.Aaron White led the Hawkeyes with seven points and four rebounds. Gabriel Olaseni also chipped in seven points in the first half for Iowa.White finished with a team-high 15 points while Olaseni was the only other Hawkeye to score in double digits, adding 12 for Iowa.Iowa center Adam Woodbury saw limited court time due to foul trouble and only played 18 minutes. He was effective and efficient though, scoring eight points on 4-5 shooting.Wisconsin returns to the court Tuesday when they take on Indiana at the Kohl Center. Tip is scheduled for 6 p.m.last_img

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