Game Day Grades: Iowa

IOWA CITY, Iowa - Playing as poor of a first half as it has all season, Wisconsin's sloppy play allowed Iowa to lead by 20 points early in the second half, a deficit it could fully climb out of in a 70-66 loss Saturday. Badger Nation hands out the grades.

Offense D

Wisconsin shot a blazing 59.4 percent (19-for-32) in the second half, but the Badgers put themselves in a 20-point deficit by shooting 23.1 percent (6-for-26) in the first half and being sloppy with the basketball. Eight of Wisconsin's 12 turnovers came before halftime, which did not help UW break out of a 1-for-12 start to the game.

Iowa was aggressive on defense throughout the game, which bugged the Badgers and freshman Sam Dekker (five turnovers). For long stretches, Wisconsin wasn't strong with the basketball and made careless passes.

Wisconsin's bench produced its best night on the season with 35 points. George Marshall led the way with 20 points, all coming in the second half, while Dekker had 13 points. Those two partially helped the Badgers mask the fact that no starters scored in double figures.

Jared Berggren was barely involved in the game, especially in the low post. Berggren should have been able to find success against freshman Adam Woodbury but Iowa did a good of taking away passing lanes and made things problematic. Wisconsin scored 18 of its 26 points in the paint in the second half once the Badgers started attacking the basket.

Wisconsin was only able to attempt 12 shots from the free throw line (making eight) and finished the game shooting 43.1 percent (25-for-58).

Defense: F

Allowing an opponent to score 70 points for the first time since November 24, UW's defense made life easy for the Hawkeyes' offense at times. Getting open looks by using screens or working the basketball around the perimeter, Iowa shot 22-for-51 (43.1 percent) from the floor.

Four Hawkeyes scored in double figures with Aaron White leading the way with 17 points. With Frank Kaminsky missing the game due to his injury that he suffered against Indiana, the Badgers front line depth was challenged and Wisconsin didn't have an answer for White. Berggren got into foul trouble in the first half, which meant Mike Bruesewitz and Ryan Evans had to guard White. Bruesewitz and Evans both found themselves in foul trouble and had to be careful when they were guarding White. Bruesewitz and Evans fouled out in the game.

Wisconsin did not protect the paint and allowed Iowa to get easy points down low. Iowa was also able to pull down seven offensive rebounds in the game and score 30 points in the paint.

Wisconsin was not able to force Iowa into some of the same mistakes they have been able to force its past opponents into, which is evident by UW failing to register a block, steal and only seven turnovers.

Overall: D

Wisconsin shot the basketball poorly and didn't play tough defense in the first half, which led them to try and unsuccessfully crawl back in the game. Wisconsin never led and was unable to overcome Iowa's lead despite the Hawkeyes not making a field goal in the final 2:36.

Despite Dekker's five turnovers in the game, he shot the basketball efficiently and helped lead the Badgers back into the game. Dekker went 5-for-8 from the floor, was able to grab four rebounds and dish out four assists. After rushing in the first half to try and make plays, Dekker did a better job not forcing the action in the second half.

Wisconsin was not disciplined on the defensive side in committing 23 personal fouls. Wisconsin's reaching fouls and slow footwork at times made some stupid fouls. Worst yet, Iowa was able to make their free throws - going 24-for-29 (82.8 percent) in the game.

Credit Wisconsin for showing good fight and not give up during the game but it can't let themselves get into early double-digit deficits, especially on the road when playing sloppy basketball.

Game MVP: George Marshall. Scoring a career-high 20 points, Marshall was one of the main reasons why the Badgers were able to make the game interesting. Marshall was able to find lanes to drive down to get easy lay ups and was able to knock down the three-point basket (going 3-4 in the game). Marshall only played 15 minutes but was very effective with his time. Marshall shot the basketball with extreme confidence and should be able to build off of Saturday's game.

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