The fourth-ranked Wisconsin Badgers survived a scare on the home floor on Sunday night, defeating the twenty-second ranked Iowa Hawkeyes by a final score of 75-71 and moving to a perfect 15-0 (2-0 Big Ten) on the season. Iowa fell to 12-3 (1-1 Big Ten).
The Hawkeyes came out of the gate in impressive fashion, holding a 35-24 lead at halftime before being outscored by a score of 51-36 in the second half. A huge swing in momentum came when Iowa head coach Fran McCaffery was ejected for arguing and ultimately making contact with an official. At that point in the game, Iowa was still holding a 41-39 lead, but Wisconsin’s Ben Brust drained all four technical free throws, giving the Badgers a 43-41 lead that they would never relinquish.
Yes, the four points that McCaffery cost his squad by earning two technical fouls ended up being the winning margin for Wisconsin, so it’s likely he’ll regret his outburst. Senior guard Roy Devyn Marble scored a game-high 27 points, despite shooting just 10 of 24 from the field. He did shoot 4 of 5 from three-point range, however, helping to keep the Hawkeyes close.
The Badger’s best player, Sam Dekker, shot just 2 of 12 from the field and only tallied 8 points and 6 rebounds. Ben Brust stepped up, scoring 19 points (5-9 FG, 3-6 3PT, 6-6 FT), pulling down 4 rebounds, and dishing out 2 assists.
The Hawkeyes finally seem to be for real. They should maintain a top-25 ranking after an impressive showing on the road. The Kohl Center is always a tough place to play for visiting teams, and Iowa had a shot to win right until the end. It’ll be interesting to see if they can hang around all season in a tough Big Ten Conference.