#15 Wisconsin (20-8, 9-6 Big Ten) couldn’t avoid the sweep of Iowa (15-13, 7-8 Big Ten) thanks to a great shooting night from the Hawkeyes and Matt Gatens. The Hawkeyes won 67-66 and picked up their second straight win over a top 25 team.
Don’t let the final score fool you on this one, as the game was only that close thanks to a banked three by Jordan Taylor as time expired.
The Badgers and Hawkeyes both came out hot and you almost knew this game would be a shootout when Zach McCabe hit a three just six seconds into the game. The first ten minutes was a offensive battle, dominated by Iowa guard Matt Gatens. The senior went for 18 points in 1st half shooting 7-8 in the field including 4-4 from downtown on his way to a game best 33 points.
The Hawkeyes jumped out to a 43-34 halftime lead behind the hot shooting of Gatens. The Badgers’ average points given up per game is 53. That stat just shows you how hot Iowa was.
Both teams shot 57% from the field in the 1st. Iowa (a.k.a. Matt Gatens) went 7-10 from three compared to Wisconsin’s 2-5. The Badgers had a uncharacteristic first half with 9 turnovers, including 4 from Jordan Taylor. Considering Taylor is set to become the most efficient guard in NCAA division one history, you wouldn’t expect that from him.
Both teams cooled down in the second half, but the game was still controlled by Iowa. The Badgers found themselves down by double digits often in this game, and Iowa’s offense was tough to stop.
The Matt Gatens show finished the game shooting 12-18 from the field and going 7-10 from downtown. Gatens had his second straight 30 point game as he looks to keep Iowa hot going into the Big Ten tournament.
Wisconsin finished shooting 50.9% from the field and 37.5% from three. Not bad numbers, but Iowa was just too hot. Notable scorers for the Badgers were Evans and Gasser with 14, Rob Wilson with 11 and Ben Brust with 10 off the bench. Jordan Taylor had a tough day only scoring 9. Wisconsin will need him to play better down the stretch if they want a tournament run.
This was the fourth victory of the season over a top 25 team for the Hawkeyes and should they finish the season at or above .500 in conference play a real case for an NCAA tournament birth can be made. For sure the Badgers know they can’t be taken lightly anymore.
Wisconsin’s next game is Sunday at 3:00 PM at Ohio State as they look to get back on track against the conference leader.