Hanson starts, thrives against Hawkeyes

Junior walk-on enjoys career high minutes and leads the Badgers offense in the first half of a 54-52 win

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In a surprise move, Wisconsin coach Bo Ryan sent walk-on Clayton Hanson onto the court with the starting five Wednesday at Iowa.


Ryan must have been onto something.


In his first career start, Hanson hit 4 of 5 3-point attempts in the first half for all 12 of his points. He hit 3 of 4 from beyond the arc early in the opening stanza, contributing the first nine points in an 11-2 run that gave Wisconsin a 13-6 lead about six-and-a-half minutes into the game.


Hanson's playing time has steadily increased throughout the season. He played a then-career-high 27 minutes in consecutive games against Ohio State and Minnesota recently and has averaged 24.8 minutes in the past six games. The first three games of that stretch, senior guard Freddie Owens was out with a left foot injury; the next two sophomore guard Boo Wade was suspended. In their absence Hanson played key minutes off the bench. With each available Wednesday—Owens started and played 18 minutes; Wade played 25 minutes off the bench—Hanson's playing time actually increased, a tribute to how well he has been playing recently.


Hanson cooled in the second half against the Hawkeyes but nearly played start-to-finish, tallying a career-high 37 minutes. His 10 field attempts were also a career high.


Hanson's performance was his second double-digit scoring effort of the season. He scored 17 against Michigan Jan. 21 when he hit five 3-pointers.


He replaced sophomore center Andreas Helmigk in the starting lineup, who played five minutes and scored two points.

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