Badgers 2nd Half Burst Beats Hawks

There is always good and bad when you don't play for a week as the Iowa Hawkeyes witnessed first hand recently. The good for the Hawkeyes, who had seven days off after their win at home over Illinois, used that time to get players healthy from illness and injuries. The bad however, resulted in a 74-61 defeat to the Wisconsin Badgers Wednesday night in Madison, WI.

In the first half of Wednesday night's game, the Hawkeyes were able to do the one thing that most Wisconsin opponents have not been able to do this season – contain 6-5 senior wing guard Kirk Penney.

Penney, who entered the game leading the Badgers (13-4, 3-2) in scoring with a 16.1 average, struggled from the floor in the first half as he was 1-7 for two points. 6-1 freshman point guard Jeff Horner, who gave away four inches to the taller Penney, played tremendous defense, contesting every one of Penney's shots in the first twenty minutes of play.

The second half however was a complete reversal though, as Penney would heat up in a hurry and knock down four three point baskets to help the Badgers turn a one-point halftime deficit into a 13 point victory.

Both teams played solid defense in the first half, as neither team was able to break away from the other. Iowa 6-7 freshman combo forward Greg Brunner was the scoring catalyst for the Hawkeyes in the first half as he would score 10 of his team high 14 points in the half, helping the Hawkeyes stake claim to a 26-25 lead at the break.

The Badgers, who's first half shooting was about as cold as the weather outside, were able to solve their shooting problems in the second half. Wisconsin shot only 31% from the floor in the first half, but shot a remarkable 20-31 (64%) in the second half, as they were able to knock down shots frequently from the outside, which helped exposed the inside.

Neither team was actually on fire from beyond the arc either in the first half, as Iowa shot 0-5 from three point land, and Wisconsin was just as dreadful going 1-8. That would all change in the second half, as Wisconsin would go 6-12 from beyond the arc to change the entire dimension of the game.

Penney fueled an 8-0 Wisconsin run in the first 1:22 of the second half with two of his four three pointers. The Badgers were able to capitalize on numerous Iowa miscues on both the offensive and defensive end and bust the game open early in the half and cruise to a 74-61 win.

Iowa (11-4, 3-1) was led in scoring by Brunner's 14 points who shot a perfect 7-7 from the floor. 6-9 junior center Sean Sonderleiter and 6-1 combo guard Chauncey Leslie both finished with 12 points respectively. 6-11 junior center Jared Reiner, who is playing with a broken bone in his hand was able to go off for 10 points.

6-3 sophomore combo guard Devin Harris led the Badgers in scoring with a game high 17 points. Penney and 6-5 freshman forward Alando Tucker both went off for 14 points in the win.

Iowa will be in action on Saturday, as they return home to take on the Ohio State Buckeyes in a 1:30 p.m. afternoon tilt at Carver Hawkeye Arena.

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