Junior guard Ashley Josephson had an explosive night, scoring a career-high 29 points on 11 of 16 shooting, including a near perfect 5 of 6 from 3-point range.
"Ashley has been practicing so very well," head coach Lisa Stone said. "She was on fire out there, and with her hot, it gives a chance for (our other players) to stay fresh."
"I was feeling it outside, especially in the first half," Josephson said. "It feels great to win, especially on the road."
Freshman guard Jolene Anderson added 17 points for the Badgers (9-11 overall, 3-7 Big Ten), who were 33 of 64 (52 percent) from the field, and a season-high .667 (8 of 12) from behind the arc. Wisconsin's bench came up big, contributing 44 points, seven rebounds and four steals.
Iowa's sloppy play gave the Badgers a boost; the Hawkeyes (15-6, 4-6) committed 22 turnovers, which the Badgers converted to 20 points, and committed 24 fouls. Wisconsin was 14 of 21 from the charity stripe.
Iowa built a 23-8 lead in the first eight minutes of play and maintained it throughout the first half. Josephson hit a trey that gave UW a 35-32 lead with 3:42 left in the first. Josephson added another 3 before halftime, giving Wisconsin a 43-37 lead heading into the break.
"We were playing great defense in the first and it all went to kaput," Iowa head coach Lisa Bluder said. "Our defense broke down and we could never get it back."
Iowa took a 67-65 lead with less than 10 minutes remaining but with the game tied at 69 each, Wisconsin went on a 13-4 run to go up 82-73 with 2:03 left.
"It wasn't just our offense, but our defense was getting after it, too," Stone said. "I can't say enough about our team. We could've fallen apart after falling behind at the beginning of the game and the second half."
Although Hawkeye senior guard Jenna Armstrong hit a 3-pointer to cut Iowa's lead to 82-76, Wisconsin held on with two layups from senior forward Ebba Gebisa and four free throws.
For Iowa, junior guard Crystal Smith had 20 points, two assists and three steals.
Wisconsin senior guard Stephanie Rich, a native of Crawfordsville, Iowa, nearly had a triple-double with nine points, eight rebounds and eight assists.