Preview: No.13 Wisconsin at Iowa

In their only meeting of the regular season, No.13 Wisconsin will look to continue its momentum from back-to-back home wins by preventing Iowa from its first three game conference winning streak in four years.

No.13 Wisconsin (17-5, 7-3 Big Ten) vs. Iowa (10-13, 3-8)

Date/Time - Wednesday, February 9, at 7:30 p.m. Central

Arena – Carver-Hawkeye Arena (14,123)

Television - Big Ten Network (Eric Collins and Shon Morris)

Radio - Wisconsin Radio Network (Matt Lepay and Mike Lucas)

Series – Tied at 76-76 (Iowa leads 48-25 in Iowa City)

Last Meeting - Wisconsin won, 67-40, on March 3, 2010 in Madison

Wisconsin Probable Starters

11 Jordan Taylor (Junior Guard, 17.8 ppg)

21 Josh Gasser (Freshman Guard, 5.5 ppg)

24 Tim Jarmusz (Senior Forward, 4.0 ppg)

30 Jon Leuer (Senior Forward, 19.4 ppg)

52 Keaton Nankivil (Senior Forward, 9.5 ppg)

Off the Bench

2 Wquinton Smith (Senior Guard, 0.5 ppg)

5 Ryan Evans (Sophomore Forward, 3.0 ppg)

31 Mike Bruesewitz (Sophomore Forward, 4.5 ppg)

40 Jared Berggren (Sophomore Forward, 2.9 ppg)

Iowa Probable Starters

1 Melsahn Basabe (Freshman Forward, 10.7 ppg)

5 Matt Gatens (Junior Guard, 13.0 ppg)

24 Bryce Cartwright (Junior Guard, 10.9 ppg)

25 Eric May (Sophomore Forward, 9.3 ppg)

50 Jarryd Cole (Senior Center, 6.5 ppg)

Off the Bench

4 Roy Devyn Marble (Freshman Guard, 5.9 ppg)

15 Zach McCabe (freshman Forward, 6.3 ppg)

20 Andrew Brommer (Junior Forward, 3.4 ppg)

Last Time Out

Taylor poured in a career high 30 points on 9-of-13 shooting (3-of-4 from three-point range), while knocking down 9-of-10 free throws. One more time: 30 points on 13 total shots. And of course he added six assists against one turnover, as Wisconsin took care of Michigan State, 82-56, Sunday.

Most impressively, many of Taylor's shots came contested with just seconds left on the shot clock. You cannot fault Michigan State's defense when Taylor would have shot 50 percent with his eyes closed.

"Jordan Taylor was unbelievable today, I think it was one of the great performances I have ever seen," Izzo said. "He made nine shots and four threes, and I think every one of them was a tough shot …

UW's senior forward Jon Leuer did his normal thing, shooting 50 percent from the field and three-point range, converting on all four of his free throw attempts and grabbing six of the team's 24 rebounds as he finished with 20 points for the 10th time this season.

After suffering his worst game of the season at Michigan State, Leuer made sure to assert himself early in the post. He took and hit the first shot of the game, and finished the first half with 15 points on nine shots.

Combined, Leuer and Taylor accounted for 50 points. Michigan State accounted for 56.

UW set the tone early, knocking down 7-of-10 three-pointers in the first half and was 15-of-23 overall in the games open period.

Last Meeting

The seniors got it started, scoring 12 of UW's first 16 points, and Leuer kept it going, as his game-high 18 points helped No.15 Wisconsin fuel an 18-0 run that was the difference in a blowout victory over Iowa, 67-40, Wednesday night.

Although Wisconsin (22-7, 12-5 Big Ten) is no longer in the running for a share of the Big Ten title, the victory clinched at least a fourth place finish for the ninth straight season under Bo Ryan and kept alive the chance for the Badgers to clinch the third seed for the league tournament, doing so by man-handleding a young, inexperienced Iowa team.

Wisconsin shot 54.9 percent (28-of-51) from the floor, 50 percent (6-of-12) from three-point range, held Iowa (10-20, 4-13) to 40 points (a season-low for a UW opponent) and watched as its two seniors didn't disappoint on their night.

Hughes, with his mom watching him for the first time in person, finished 15 points, four rebounds, four assists, three steals and a block.

Bohannon finished one rebound shy of his first career double-double (11 points, nine rebounds) and is averaged 17.4 points while shooting 61 percent from the floor in his last eight games.

Leuer, starting his second straight game, made his presence known on both ends of the floor. His 18 points on 8-of-9 shooting were his most since scoring 21 points against Michigan State on January 6 and his mini 10-point run in the first half turned the game into a laugher well before halftime.

But just as opportunistic as he was offensively, Leuer again was a dominant post presence, registering five rebounds and three blocks, a big reason the Hawkeyes went scoreless for 7 minutes, 39 seconds during UW's first-half run.

Series Notes:

The Badgers have won 12 of the last 14 against Iowa, including four of the last six in Iowa City.

Wednesday's game marks the only meeting between Wisconsin and Iowa this season. The two teams also met just once last year.

The Badgers' 67-40 win over Iowa in the most recent match-up was Wisconsin's largest margin of victory in this series.

UW assistant coach Gary Close was an assistant at Iowa from 1986-99.

UW is 13-4 against the Hawkeyes under Bo Ryan, including a 4-3 mark at Carver-Hawkeye.

Wisconsin has won 34 straight games when posting a higher FG% than its opponents. UW's last loss when out-shooting its foe was a 73-69 overtime loss at Iowa on Jan. 21, 2009. UW shot .475 in that game, while Iowa shot .465.

Iowa Notes:

Defense has been key in Iowa's 10 victories this season. Hawkeye opponents average only 53.1 points, shooting 35 percent from the field, including 24 percent from 3-point territory, in the 10 Iowa wins. Furthermore, Iowa averages nine steals in victories.

Basabe has become only the second Hawkeye rookie to amass over 240 points, 150 rebounds and 30 blocks.

Iowa is 9-2 when it holds the opponent under 70 points, compared to a 1-11 mark when giving up 70 or more.

Iowa has collected 168 steals this season, averaging 7.3 per contest, through 23 games. Last year, Iowa was credited with 124 thefts in 32 games. Iowa's 7.3 average is its best since the 1998-99 season when the Hawkeyes averaged 8.9 steals in 31 games.

Wisconsin Notes:

Wisconsin leads the Big Ten lead and ranks third in the nation allowing 56.1 points per game. Only Stephen F. Austin (53.8) has a better mark that the Badgers.

On the heels of UW's 82-56 win over Michigan State, the Badgers now own the nation's most ef?cient offense, averaging 1.20 points per possession. That mark is tied with St. Mary's. According to Ken Pomeroy, the Badgers own three of the top ?ve performances this season in terms of ef?ciency. UW posted marks of 1.52 points per possession vs. Prairie View A&M, 1.55 ppp at Northwestern and 1.51 ppp vs. Michigan State.

Wisconsin is the only team in the country that has not allowed 70 points in a game this season. Under Bo Ryan, the Badgers are 218-50 (.813) when limiting opponents to fewer than 70 points.

Prediction

The Badgers have held 16 of their 22 opponents to 60 points or less this season, including each of their last five opponents. Iowa has scored 69 points or higher in six of the last eight games, so any assumption that Iowa can't score is ludicrous, especially after the 20-point whipping it gave the Spartans a week ago.

It's obvious that Wisconsin would have rather played Iowa a month ago when the Hawkeyes were in the midst of a six game losing streak to start conference play. Now, Iowa has won back-to-back Big Ten games for the first time since the 2006-07 season, and the Hawkeyes' frontcourt dominated Indiana. Iowa held the advantage in points in the paint (34-18) and out rebounded Indiana 33-25. More importantly, Iowa showed resolve, closing the game on a 16-5 run to win by one.

But that was against Indiana. Leuer was named conference player of the week as he stacked up 24 points and 13 rebounds against Purdue and followed it up with 20 points and six rebounds against Michigan State. The 13 rebounds tied his career high. In addition to Taylor's 30 points against the Spartans, senior Keaton Nankivil needed just three field-goal attempts to pile up 11 points as he nailed three 3-pointers and both of his free throws against MSU. He's was shooting 52 percent on 3-pointers for the year and 58 percent (26 of 45) in Big Ten games through Feb. 6.

Although No.1 Ohio State comes to Madison Saturday, Taylor knows the game would lose some luster if the Badgers continue to struggle on the road, where UW is 2-4 this season. If the Badgers shot like they did on Sunday, setting a season-high for 3-point percentage by converting on 64.7 percent (11-of-17), they will be OK.

Wisconsin needs a road win to carry the momentum, and they should win this game by 19 points.

Worgull's Record: 21-1

Points off Prediction: 143 (6.5 per game)


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