The Wisconsin Badgers finally started to look like the team we saw in November and December, earning a double digit victory over the Iowa Hawkeyes 64-52.
With the Badgers on the outside looking in on the NCAA Tournament, they need to get some momentum in the final weeks of the season. A home win against Iowa will certainly help but they still have more work to do.
The first half was a bit uncharacteristic for Wisconsin, turning the ball over 8 times and allowing six offensive rebounds by the Hawkeyes. Steven Crowl got into foul trouble early, racking up two fouls within the first five minutes of the game. Still, Wisconsin held on for a one point lead at the half, 27-26.
The Badgers were able to get some momentum in the second half though, grabbing a two point lead on a Connor Essegian three pointer with 10:26 to go. Wisconsin would not surrender the lead the rest of the game. They began to pull away and Iowa could not find the basket or get a stop on defense. The Hawkeyes were a woeful 3-28 from the three point line and were 2-13 from the field to finish the game.
Wisconsin shot an excellent 52% from the field, including going 21-30 on shots from inside the arc.
Essegian led the scoring for the Badgers with 17 points and five rebounds. Chucky Hepburn had 12 points with four rebounds and five assists. Tyler Wahl had a double-double with 11 points and 14 rebounds. Those 14 rebounds were his highest total on the season.
Next up for Wisconsin is a trip to Ann Arbor on Sunday to take on the Michigan Wolverines. They'll be looking to keep this momentum going forward in a tough environment and beef up their resume for March.