MADISON — Coming off of a massive road win over Purdue, the Wisconsin Badgers men’s basketball team (12-2 overall, 3-1 Big Ten) welcomed the Iowa Hawkeyes to the Kohl Center on Thursday night for a big conference clash. In a meeting that featured Johnny Davis and Keegan Murray, two of the top three scorers in the entire country, it was Davis who got the last laugh as the Badgers won by nine.
Game over.— Bucky’s 5th Quarter (@B5Q) January 7, 2022
The #Badgers take down Iowa 87 to 78 behind 26 pts, 9 rebounds, 5 assists from Johnny Davis to improve to 12-2 on the season.
Early in the contest, both teams were able to score at will. At the first media timeout, each team was shooting above 66% with Wisconsin holding a quick 14-10 lead because of two key three-pointers by Davis and Chucky Hepburn.
Playing at Iowa’s preferred fast pace, the Badgers still maintained a one-point lead with 12 remaining in the first half. However, Iowa was taking care of business in the paint with 14 of their 19 points coming inside early on.
Davis took matters into his own hands over the next few minutes, as the sophomore sensation would add seven points in a hurry to push the Wisconsin advantage to 12 points by the next media timeout.
Iowa would go on a 6-0 run led by Murray and Patrick McCaffery while Davis took a quick breather. During that span of time, the Wisconsin offense sputtered against Iowa’s zone defense, but the Badgers would respond with a 6-0 run of there own once Davis returned to the court.
With three minutes left in the first half UW lead was back up to 11 points. After Brad Davison was fouled on a three-point attempt with eight seconds remaining, the senior guard would give the Badgers a 13-point advantage at half.
In the opening moments of the second half, the Badgers were able to further extend their lead as they went inside on the Hawkeyes defense. By the 16:13 mark, Wisconsin had established a 19-point edge and appeared to be in control.
Iowa would cut into the deficit a bit, but by the next media timeout the Badgers still held 61-46 lead thanks to some pivotal offensive rebounds. A pretty alley-oop between Jahcobi Neath and Davis on a 2-on-1 created by a tremendous defensive sequence from Chris Vogt highlighted the next couple minutes as Wisconsin once again grabbed a 19-point lead however.
With 6:12 to play, buckets by Davison, Carter Gilmore, and Davis would push the score to 77-55 as everything seemed to go UW’s way. Murray would keep Iowa in it though, as over the next two minutes Iowa was back within 13 points largely based on his play offensively.
Alas, it was not enough though, and the Badgers would throw it into cruise control to secure a big conference win over the Hawkeeys 87 to 78.
Notable stat lines:
- Johnny Davis —> 26 points (10-of-18 from the floor), nine rebounds, five assists
- Tyler Wahl —> 16 points (6-of-7 from the floor), nine rebounds, two assists, two steals
- Brad Davison —> 18 points (6-of-11 from the floor), seven rebounds, two assists
- Keegan Murray (Iowa) —> 27 points (10-of-16 from the floor), five rebounds
Up next: The Badgers will take their talents on the road for a matchup with the Maryland Terrapins on Sunday. Tip time is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. CT and it will be aired on Big Ten Network.