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Mad, son: #23 Wisconsin 87, Iowa 78

The Hawkeyes couldn’t keep up their hot opening pace and continued struggling on the boards in their third Big Ten loss

NCAA Basketball: Iowa at Wisconsin Mary Langenfeld-USA TODAY Sports

The Iowa Hawkeyes (11-4, 1-3) struggled to keep pace with the #23 Wisconsin Badgers (12-2, 3-1) and could not notch their fifth straight win against them, losing 87-78. Keegan Murray led the way with 27 points but it was Johnny Davis, who had the more impactful statline at 26, 9 rebounds, and 5 assists, who made heads turn.

Iowa’s rebounding woes remain, though, and Wisconsin used 14 offensive rebounds to generate 18 second chance points. The rebounding margin ended 43-26, Wisconsin.

The game got off to a hot start as the teams traded baskets up, with the Badgers leading 20-19 heading into the under-12 minute timeout. Unfortunately, the Hawks were stuck in mud while WIsconsin geared up and piled on 12 straight points. They went 5/9 during the stretch while Iowa missed seven straight shots.

Iowa’s 8-0 run spurred by really nice Pat McCaffery play was countered with a quick 6-0 spurt from the Badgers, forcing a timeout from Iowa. Unfortunately, Brad Davison impacted the game in Brad Davison ways and drew a foul on a three pointer. Wisconsin entered half up 45-32.

The refs saw the tape and said “hip to hip” contact was why they made the call. Ok.

It went from bad to worse to open the second half, as Wisconsin turned it into a 19-point lead. And then Keegan Murray crashed HARD onto the floor blocking a Davison layup. He was on the ground awhile before going quickly to the locker room and back. Let’s see how he feels in a week before declaring him fully healed.

Keegan returned to the court and scored on an inbound dunk on a play that was very fun and nice. Unfortunately it was just two points and couldn’t close the gap to less than 13. The Hawks then got in the bonus for the final 11:48 but went just 6/8 from the line after that.

Wisconsin stretched the game to 21 on an end-of-shot-clock three from Davison.

Iowa got it to 13 on a Keegan Murray 3, getting him up to 27 points but Connor McCaffery’s fifth foul in the press got Tyler Wahl to the line and the lead back to 15.

For all intents and purposes, the game was over after this as Johnny Davis received a curtain call. Iowa went on an 8-0 run to close it out.

Other things

  • Jordan Bohannon had a night to forget, as he didn’t shoot a shot until well into the second half. Though he finished with 12 points - 2nd for the Hawks - it came while the game was in hand for Wisconsin. He went 3/6 from the line, including two straight misses.
  • Tough game for Iowa’s backcourt, in general: Ahron Ulis and Tony Perkins had just 2 points on 1/6 shooting. Joe Toussaint had 6 on 3/5 with 4 assists.
  • I don’t know what to say about the rebounding. They’re just not big enough to be as positionally unsound as they are. Hate calling out a single guy, as it’s a team-wide problem, but Patrick McCaffery isn’t particularly prone to boxing out. The one time he did, he got the board and an over-the-back call on a Badger. Hopefully it leads to more.
  • Iowa’s first half shot selection was tough and they went 2/11 on two-point jumpers.
  • Hawks went 11/19 from the FT line. Wisky was 16/23.
  • Bad jersey matchup. Ketchup/mustard should be required whenever Iowa plays a team with red as a color.
  • Happy not to play Brad Davison again. If that means he lives rent free in my head, so be it. He had 18 points.
  • This is a brutal camera angle in the USC/Cal game.

Next up: Thursday, 1/13 vs. Indiana