Poor shooting and some defensive lapses contributed to another lopsided loss for Wisconsin (10–12, 3–5 Big Ten), who attempted to string together back-to-back wins in conference play after its dominant win over Illinois last Friday night. The Badgers only hit on 40 percent of their attempts (26 of 65), while allowing Iowa (11–11, 2–7) to shoot 51.7 percent (31 of 60) from the field.
That included the Hawkeyes connecting on 57.1 percent (16 of 28) from the field in the second half as they led by as many as 22 points on two separate occasions late in the game. From the 17:31 mark of the second half until the final buzzer, the Badgers trailed by double-digits.
Iowa also scored 44 of its 85 points in the paint and connected on 17 of 22 free throws (13 of 16 in the second half). Wisconsin shot 78.4 percent (11 of 14) from the charity stripe, but attempted eight fewer free throws.
Nige was such a good post defender. We never really had to worry about getting dominated on the blocks like this these past few years.— Zak Showalter (@ZShowbball333) January 24, 2018
Forward Luka Garza contributed 17 points and 16 rebounds for Iowa in the win, with 10 of those points coming in the second half. Forward Tyler Cook scored 11 of his 17 points for Iowa in those final 20 minutes. Three other Hawkeyes scored in double-digits.
Redshirt junior forward Ethan Happ scored a game-high 21 points with 10 rebounds and five assists for Wisconsin. He also connected on all five free-throw attempts but committed four turnovers before fouling out in what was a disappointing outing for the big man.
Junior forward Khalil Iverson also scored 17 points, 13 in the first half on 6-of-8 shooting. Iowa shut him down in the second half with those four points and limited his effectiveness (1-of-8 shooting). He also contributed seven rebounds and four assists.
Wisconsin could not buy a bucket from three-point range, connecting on only four of 18 attempts.
UW trailed 37–28 at halftime on 38.7 shooting. Iowa shot 46.9 percent (15 of 32), while Wisconsin struggled at 38.7 percent (12 of 31), including not converting on some close attempts to the rim.
That included UW missing its first nine shots of the first half as Iowa pushed a 9–0 lead within the first four minutes. Greg Gard’s squad found itself down by as much as 12 multiple times, including as late as the 6:36 mark after a Jack Nunge layup.
The Badgers came back late, however, going on an 11–3 run in just under five minutes to cut the lead to four, as Nate Reuvers’s free throw made it a 32–28 game with 1:20 remaining in the first half. The Hawkeyes would receive some relief with an Isaiah Moss three-pointer and later extended the lead to nine entering intermission.
If there was any hope of the Badgers coming all the way back from a horrendous start (4 of 19 FG) it was erased after climbing back within 4 points late in 1stH only to give up 5 quick points to Isaiah Moss before intermission and two emphatic Tyler Cook dunks at start of 2ndH.— Mike Lucas (@LucasAtLarge) January 24, 2018
In 17 minutes of play, junior forward Charles Thomas contributed 10 points on 5-of-5 shooting with five rebounds.
While Happ, Iverson, and Thomas combined for 20-of-35 from the field, the rest of the team combined to make only six of 30 attempts (20 percent). Guards Brad Davison and Brevin Prizl combined for only 11 points on 4-of-18 from the field (three for 12 from three-point range).