The Badgers were able to overcome a poor three-point shooting performance, playing with physicality, and ultimately earning a much-needed win.
Here are the quick takeaways from Wisconsin’s win on Wednesday.
My No. 1 key to win for the game was getting Tyler Wahl going offensively, especially going downhill where he can unleash his aggressiveness and not face many double teams.
Wahl did exactly that on Wednesday, scoring 11 points on 5/8 shooting, while securing 14 rebounds on the defensive end.
Playing against Kris Murray, Wahl rebounded after some early mishaps, playing aggressive on the glass defensively, which translated to offense, as the forward had arguably his strongest performance since returning from injury.
When the Badgers see this version of Wahl, the one that plays with aggressiveness and physicality on both ends, they can reach their potential on both ends, which we haven’t seen on many occasions this season.
It happened on Wednesday, and came on a day where Wahl was a +10, while playing a team-high 36 minutes.
In the preview today, I said the three-point battle was going to be integral, given how well both teams shoot the ball.
Additionally, I added the difference between the two teams: Wisconsin has multiple shooters over 40% in Chucky Hepburn and Connor Essegian, as well as a 36% shooter in Max Klesmit from three, while Iowa doesn’t have a single shooter hitting over 35.5% of their deep shots.
That resonated during the game, as Iowa shot horrendously from three, despite seeing good looks, hitting just 3/28 of their three-pointers.
Wisconsin wasn’t much better from distance, hitting just 4/22 of their deep shots, but they had the necessary defensive adjustments and were aggressive enough to overcome their shooting woes.
Fouls and free throws were the third key of the game, as Iowa had attempted the most shots from the stripe in the Big 10 heading into the contest.
While it didn’t look pretty early, as Wisconsin committed some early fouls, the Badgers ultimately were the more composed team, generating 19 Iowa fouls as opposed to their 12 fouls.
The Badgers, known for their three-point shooting were much more aggressive, which allowed them to earn more opportunities at the stripe.
Now, they still significantly struggled at the line, shooting 10/18, but the high number was a sign of their aggressiveness, which is a pleasant sight to see.
Iowa was fairly efficient from the line, hitting 9/13 shots, with three of the misses coming from Filip Rebraca’s four free throw attempts.
It was a good performance from the Badgers to remain poised in the second half, not hitting the bonus, which gave Iowa just four second-half opportunities from the line.