Wisconsinâ€™s big victory over Iowa was barely out of the memory bank as the two teams tangled for the second time this season on Saturday. It didnâ€™t quiet go the way the first one did, but the end result was the same as No. 5 Wisconsin (19-2, 7-1 B1G) took care of Iowa 74-63.
That meant the Badgers swept the season series against the Hawkeyes (13-8, 4-4 B1G) for the second-straight season. It also meant that UW kept a two-game advantage in the Big Ten standings and put even more distance between themselves and Iowa as we head in to February.
Senior forward Frank Kaminsky led all scorers on the way to victory, pouring in 24 points to go with nine rebounds and one assist. It wasnâ€™t all Kaminsky though, as he was one of four Badgers to reach double figures in a true team effort.
Nigel Hayes (14), Sam Dekker (11) and Josh Gasser (11)Â joined Kaminsky in double-digit scoring in the Badgersâ€™ win.
Despite the sweep, this game had a very different feel to it, and it started to feel different from the get-go.
Iowa never had a lead in the 32-point blowout at Wisconsin, but it took the opening lead in the rematch and it led to a back-and-forth affair early on.
That was a good 5:19 of turnover-free basketball to start this game. Wisconsin up 12-10. Iowa 5 of 6 from the field, 8 points in the paint.
— Mike Hlas (@Hlas) January 31, 2015
Things didnâ€™t slow down offensively after that start either, as Iowa was shooting 8 of 9 from the field in the first 9 minutes of the contest. Wisconsin wasnâ€™t far behind in that time span, hitting at a 54 percent clip themselves.
However, UW was able to build a 22-17 lead at the 10:59 mark thanks to the deep ball. Wisconsin was 4-6 as Hayes hit the triple to build that scoreline, and they got three-pointers from Kaminsky, Hayes and Gasser to really pull Iowa out of the zone they were playing at times.
At that point it looked like the game would be a barn burner, but both teams managed to “cool off” a bit, if you want to call it that. Wisconsin managed to continue hitting deep shots and getting to the line, but neither team was great from the field overall after that hot start.
Kaminsky led all scorers with 11 points, while Dekker had a great all-around first half with nine points and four rebounds to his name.
It was a strange half on the stat sheet, as Iowa shot 66.7 percent from the field (16-24) and UW shot 53.6. precent (15-28). However, the Badgers managed to take that 42-36 halftime lead thanks to other aspects of the game, like going 7-8 from the free throw line and shooting 5-11 from the beyond the arc.
Both teams came out firing to start the second half, but it was Wisconsin who took advantage of it early. Kaminsky hit a triple to star the scoring in the half, and the Badgers raced out to an 11-point lead at 47-36.
It wouldnâ€™t be a sign of a blowout coming, as the Badgers went ice cold from the field and werenâ€™t getting to the line much either.
UW up 51-44 with 11:58 left. The Badgers have made one field goal in the last 6:39.
— Jim Polzin (@JimPolzinWSJ) January 31, 2015
Still, the Badgers managed to do enough damage from the line to overcome a lack of made field goals and ultimately they got hot from the field when it was truly needed. UW salted this game at the line thanks to shooting 21 of 26, while holding Iowa to just 13 made free throws themselves.
Wisconsin ended up hitting big shots late to stymie any run Iowa made, and it had a lot to do with the three-point shot too. UW ended the game going 7 of 19 from deep, a difference of nine points alone in made three-pointers.
Up next for the Badgers is a date with Indiana on Tuesday at the Kohl Center. Tip is scheduled for 6pm CT and air on ESPN.