Badgers earns tight road win against Iowa
Final score 79-74
IOWA CITY, Iowa — Frank Kaminsky had 21 points and a crucial late steal as No. 16 Wisconsin beat No. 15 Iowa 79-74 on Saturday for its fifth straight win.
Sam Dekker added 15 points and 11 rebounds for the Badgers (22-5, 9-5 Big Ten), who swept the season series and moved a half-game ahead of the Hawkeyes (19-7, 8-5) in the Big Ten standings.
Josh Oglesby’s jumper with 1:01 left put Iowa up 72-71, but Kaminsky answered with a bank shot that gave Wisconsin a one-point lead. Kaminsky then stripped Iowa’s Roy Devyn Marble under the basket and hit two free throws as the Badgers went up 75-72 with 24.5 seconds left.
Marble had 21 points and 11 assists to lead the Hawkeyes, who lost their third home game in four tries.
This was just the second game in two weeks for Iowa. The Hawkeyes were off ahead of last Saturday’s 82-70 win at Penn State, and Tuesday’s postponement at Indiana gave the Hawkeyes an extra week off.
After a rather rusty start, Iowa asserted itself in the second half.
Marble hit a 3 and Aaron White followed with a strong drive to the hoop that put the Hawkeyes ahead 62-58 with 6:27 left. The Badgers seemed flummoxed at times by Iowa’s zone defense, scoring just 20 points in the first 16 minutes of the second half.
Still, Wisconsin tied it at 66-all with 3:18 left on a three-point play by Nigel Hayes, and Bronson Keonig’s jumper put the Badgers ahead 71-70 with 1:21 left.
Koenig had a career-high 12 points.
Iowa was forced to make its first starting lineup change of the season. Forward Zach McCabe started in place of Melsahn Basabe, who was sick.
Basabe is one of Iowa’s top interior defenders, and the Badgers took advantage of his absence early on. Wisconsin hit 12 of its first 16 shots, and Dekker’s 3 put the Badgers ahead 34-24.
Wisconsin shot 57 percent from the field in the first half, and Koenig matched his previous career high of 10 points in just 10 minutes as the Badgers led 40-31.
But Wisconsin missed its first six shots after the break and Iowa eventually retook the lead, 52-51, with 10:55 left.
The game would go down to the wire, as it always seems to do when Iowa and Wisconsin meet. The last five games in this series have been decided by five points or less — and the Badgers now lead it 80-79.
Oglesby matched a season high with 17 points for Iowa. But White was held to just four points, and McCabe’s 3-point attempt with less than 20 seconds left and the Hawkeyes down 3 never reached the rim.