Preview: Wisconsin at Iowa

After a huge road win at Indiana Tuesday, first-place Wisconsin heads into another tough road environment tonight, as the Badgers face Iowa at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

Wisconsin (13-4, 4-0 Big Ten) at Iowa (12-5, 1-3 Big Ten)

Date/Time -Saturday, January 19, 7 p.m. Central

Arena –Carver-Hawkeye Arena (14,123)

Television - Big Ten Network (Brian Anderson & Shon Morris)

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

Series – Iowa leads 78-77 (Iowa leads 49-26 in Iowa City)

Last Meeting - Iowa won, 67-66, on February 23, 2012 in Iowa City

Wisconsin Probable Starters

1 Ben Brust (6-1 Junior Guard, 10.9 ppg)

5 Ryan Evans (6-6 Senior Forward, 11.5 ppg)

12 Traevon Jackson (6-2 Sophomore Guard, 5.6 ppg)

31 Mike Bruesewitz (6-6 Senior Forward, 7.4 ppg)

40 Jared Berggren (6-10 Senior Forward, 12.9 ppg)

Off the Bench

3 George Marshall (5-11 Freshman Guard, 4.9 ppg)

15 Sam Dekker (6-7 Freshman Forward, 9.4 ppg)

32 Zak Showalter (6-2 Freshman Guard, 2.6 ppg)

44 Frank Kaminsky (6-11 Sophomore Forward, 4.6 ppg)

Iowa Probable Starters

4 Roy Devyn Marble (6-6 Junior Guard, 15.0 ppg)

5 Anthony Clemmons (6-1 Freshman Guard, 4.5 ppg)

10 Mike Gesell (6-1 Freshman Guard, 8.8 ppg)

30 Aaron White (6-8 Sophomore Forward, 13.3 ppg)

34 Adam Woodbury (7-1 Freshman Center, 6.0 ppg)

Off the Bench

1 Melsahn Basabe (6-7 Junior Forward, 7.0 ppg)

2 Josh Oglesby (6-5 Sophomore Guard, 5.5 ppg)

15 Zach McCabe (6-7 Junior Forward, 6.2 ppg)

25 Erik May (6-5 Senior Guard, 4.0 ppg)

Last Time Out

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (BadgerNation) - Wisconsin got four players in double figures, made all the clutch plays down the stretch, including 4-for-6 from Bruesewitz at the free throw line, and never winced when No.2 Indiana made its run, a big reason the Badgers pushed their winning streak to seven with a 64-59 victory over the Hoosiers Tuesday night.

The win for Wisconsin (13-4, 4-0 Big Ten) is large on a number of fronts. It's the first win for Wisconsin over a team ranked No.2 on the road in school history and first road win over a top five team since 1980. It also extends a couple of Wisconsin's historic streaks over the Hoosiers, as the Badgers have now won 11 straight over Indiana (15-2, 3-1 Big Ten) and five straight at Assembly Hall.

Above all else, it was a statement win that put Wisconsin – currently unranked – alone in first place in the loaded Big Ten.

"It was a gut check for us," said UW coach Bo Ryan, who tied legendary UCLA coach John Wooden for 38th place on the NCAA's all-time win list (664). "We played like junkyard dogs."

With a little bit of grit and a big step forward on the learning curve, Wisconsin made the big plays down the stretch away from home, something that had slipped away from them three previous times this season.

Wisconsin didn't make a field goal in the final 2:25, but it didn't matter with the Badgers clamping down defensively and limiting Indiana to 25 percent (2-for-8) over that same time period and an ugly 26.7 percent in the second half (37 percent overall).

Averaging a nation's best 87.1 points per game and the only Big Ten team to have five players average over 11 points, only Cody Zeller (21 points) and Christian Watford (11) hit the mark, as UW held Jordan Hulls – the Nation's leading 3-point shooter at 52.5 percent – to four points with no three-pointers and Will Sheehey (11.4 ppg) to zero off the bench.

Wisconsin's outscored Indiana's bench 16-2 and committed only eight turnovers, helping make up for 37-28 disadvantage on the boards.

Wisconsin answered the bell offensively and defensively, especially in the second half against Zeller and his 16.6 points per game.

A perfect 8-for-8 in the first half, Zeller scored 18 of Indiana's 32 points and bailed out a Hoosiers' team that shot 5-for-20 without his production. He wasn't nearly as productive in the second half, missing his first six shots from the field as the Badgers clamped down defensively.

Wisconsin built that lead early in the second half when Wisconsin went on a 6-2 to take the lead for good after Zeller went out at 15:13. When he returned, Mike Bruesewitz hit a long three-pointer to put the Badgers up 47-39 (the eight-point deficit was the largest the Hoosiers had faced all season).

The lead grew to 10 when Indiana went almost six minutes without a field goal and 3:35 without a point. But just as Wisconsin's offense was the catalyst for building its lead, it was also its preventer.

Going 7:40 between field goals and 3:28 without a point, Indiana went on a 10-1 run to cut the lead to 52-51 with 4:43 remaining.

But junior guard Ben Brust hit a vital baseline jumper after securing an offensive rebound to halt the skid and Ryan Evans – team-high 13 points – hit a tough turnaround jumper on the next possession to extend the lead back to three. Indiana never got closer than four the rest of the way with Wisconsin making six of its final eight free throws.

Last Meeting

IOWA CITY, Iowa (BadgerNation) - Go figure that as soon as No.16 Wisconsin finds its shooting touch, it runs into a road buzz saw of epic proportions.

Wisconsin shot 57.7 percent in the first half and 50.9 percent overall, but was down as many as 13 points after halftime because Iowa, more specifically senior Matt Gatens, simply couldn't miss.

The Hawkeyes senior guard scored a career-high 33 points on his own bobblehead night, production that allowed Iowa to go the final 7:29 without a field goal and still win a wire-to-wire 67-66 decision over Wisconsin in front of a 14,248 fans at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

As a result, Wisconsin (20-8, 9-6 Big Ten) had its faint conference title hopes all but extinguished, were swept in the regular season by the Hawkeyes (15-13, 7-8) for the first time in the 1994-95 season and allowed the most points by an opposing player since Kansas State's Jacob Pulled scored 38 in the third round of last year's NCAA Tournament.

The Badgers got 14 points each from Josh Gasser and Ryan Evans, who scored in double figures for the seventh straight game but scored only four points the final 35:29.

Senior Jordan Taylor hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer with under 33 seconds left for the third straight visit to Iowa City, but he was for all intensive purposes invisible throughout most of the game – finishing with 9 points and four turnovers in just 29 minutes plagued with foul trouble.

Iowa shot 57.1 percent in the first half, 7-for-10 from 3-point range and Gatens, who scored a then-career high 30 points against Indiana days earlier, dropped 18 points – including running his total to 12 consecutive 3-pointers made dating back to Sunday before missing in the second half.

After limiting Gatens to 2-for-9 shooting and six points in the team's first meeting in Madison, the senior equaled that total in the first 180 seconds with a pair of 3-pointers and only cooled during the first 20 minutes when he took a one-minute bench breather.

"He got hot," said UW coach Bo Ryan. "He's on a consistent streak. He's playing really well, and we knew it. You have to give a guy credit when he can knock those down."

Not only was Iowa's 43 first-half points the most UW has allowed all year, it's more than what seven opponents scored in 40 minutes against the Badgers, putting a severe dent in Wisconsin's nation-leading 51.1 points per game.

While the amount of fast-break opportunities was the problem in the first meeting, the problem this time was the turnovers. Averaging 8.96 turnovers a game, second best in the country, Wisconsin's 11 first-half turnovers helped pave the way to 12 points off miscues.

Series Notes:

UW has won in 7 of its last 11 trips to Carver- Hawkeye Arena, but dropped a 67-66 decision in Iowa City last season (2/23/12).

Wisconsin's last three trips to Iowa City have been decided by an average of 2.7 points per game including two overtime affairs - Iowa won, 73-69, in 2010 and UW won, 62-59, in 2011.

Overall, Wisconsin has won 13 of the last 17 meetings with Iowa.

Iowa won at the Kohl Center, 72-65, last season, the Hawkeyes' first win in Madison since 2000 - snapping a streak of 9 straight UW wins.

Bo Ryan is 14-6 all-time against the Hawkeyes, including a 5-4 mark at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

UW assistant coach Gary Close was an assistant at Iowa from 1986-99 ... UW redshirt junior Zach Bohannon, is from Marion, Iowa and his father, Gordy, was a quarterback on Iowa's 1982 Rose Bowl team.

Wisconsin Notes

UW has opened Big Ten play 4-0 for the 4th time in the last 8 seasons and the 1st time since 2007-08 when Wisconsin began the Big Ten season at 6-0 and went on to win the championship.

In winning at No. 2 Indiana on Tuesday, Wisconsin tallied its highest-ranked road win in school history. In 12 years at the helm, Bo Ryan's Badgers are 64-62 (.508) on the road, the best mark of any team in the Big Ten.

UW has posted a winning conference record in each of the last 12 seasons. Among the 6 major conferences, only Kansas (22 seasons) has a longer active streak of finishing above .500 in league play.

Jackson has scored in double figures in each of the last two games, finishing with 14 points vs. Illinois and adding 11 points at Indiana. Jackson has shot 47.1 percent (8-for-17) over the last two games, including 2-for-4 from 3-point range.

Iowa Notes:

Iowa's underclassmen account for 57 percent of the team's scoring. The three rookies starters account for 26 percent of the team's scoring and 46 percent of the team's assists.

Iowa is 16-2 when scoring 80 points or more the last three seasons. The Hawkeyes are 22-0 when holding opponents to 60 points or less the last three years.

White leads the team in rebounding (6.1), free throws made (75) and attempted (102), and ranks second in scoring (13.3).

The combined Big Ten record of Iowa's first three opponents is 10-2.


After leading the nation in scoring defense last season (53.2 ppg), Wisconsin ranks seven in the category this season, allowing only 54.9 points per game.

The work Wisconsin did at Indiana was beyond commendable – holding the Hoosiers to 28 points below their season average – and helped the Badgers keep their 11th straight opponent under the 60 point mark.

The same game plan will be put in place against the Hawkeyes, considering the Badgers were burned by Iowa in virtually the same way Indiana has been beating teams this season.

In Iowa's 72-65 victory Dec. 31 at the Kohl Center, the Hawkeyes produced 14 fast-break points and got 17 points from senior guard Bryce Cartwright off the bench. Against Indiana, the Badgers limited the Hoosiers to three fast-break points and two bench points.

In the second game, a 67-66 victory for the Hawkeyes in Iowa City on Feb. 23, senior guard Matt Gatens scored a career-high 33 points on 12-of-18 shooting. He went 7-of-10 from 3-point range, and Iowa survived despite not making a field goal in the final 7 minutes, 30 seconds of the game.

Gatens had 18 points in the first half on 7-of-8 shooting, making all four of his 3-point attempts. Against Indiana sophomore Cody Zeller Tuesday, the Badgers allowed the All-American to go 8-for-8 in the first half and score 18 points. They were better defensively after intermission, limiting Zeller to 1-for-7 from the field.

But in a year when three Big Ten teams shared the conference title with five losses, Wisconsin – which finished 12-6 in conference last season - couldn't help but be disappointed knowing that Iowa cost them a chance at a league title.

"We gave them way too many easy baskets," Berggren said of the Iowa games last season. "Getting to the rim where we got broken down off the dribble and guys didn't help out. We gave them way too much in transition. Didn't care of the ball or didn't take good shots. Bad shots or turnovers that led to them leaking out for layups and easy buckets in transition. We've got to do a good job taking care of the ball, taking care of the basket and playing our game."

Thankfully, Cartwright and Gatens are gone, but Iowa has veterans off the bench, three talented freshmen in the starting lineup (including center Adam Woodbury who chose Iowa over scholarship offers from North Carolina, Ohio State, Stanford and Wisconsin) and sophomore forward Aaron White, who averaged 15.0 points and shot 78.6 percent from the field in Iowa's two victories over UW last season.

Iowa is 1-3 in the Big Ten, but lost by four to Indiana and three to Michigan State at home.

"(The record) doesn't show what kind of team they are," said Dekker. "They're a good team. They're a young team, but they are also led by some veterans. They have some good players no matter what position you look at.

"Hopefully we do the same thing we did the past few games – play good d, hit some shots."

Iowa has played Wisconsin tough the last couple of years, especially in the unique Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Honoring the 20-year death of former Hawkeye Chris Street Saturday night will have the crowd even more energized. In a true coin flip game, Iowa pulls out a four-point victory.

Worgull's Record: 11-6

Points off Prediction: 209 (12.29 per game)

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