Last week, the Badgers took a pounding against Purdue to the tune of a 28-point loss, dropping their third straight Big Ten game. This young, injured Wisconsin team was in need of a major break to turn things around.
It turns out that break may have been scheduling.
Wisconsin was able to rebound from that pitiful loss to Purdue against winless Illinois, 75-50. The Badgers received another favor playing Iowa, who limps into Tuesday night’s game with a 1-6 record in the Big Ten. Iowa’s only Big Ten win came against Illinois in an overtime game.
Iowa’s issue isn’t offensively as the Hawkeyes have the Big Ten’s third ranked offense scoring over 80 points per game. Iowa has four players averaging double-digit scoring outputs, including Jordan Bohannon, the younger brother of former Badger Jason Bohannon. However, Iowa has the worst defense in the Big Ten by a healthy margin, giving up 76.9 points per game.
That’s good news for a Wisconsin team coming off of their best offensive performance of the year against Illinois. The Badgers, although playing against inferior competition, looked better offensively than in recent weeks with more movement, better shot taking and making, and balance. Wisconsin cut up Illinois defense with crisp passing, notching 15 assists.
Iowa won the last matchup between the two, beating Wisconsin 59-57 in the Kohl Center. The Hawkeyes slowed Ethan Happ to just 11 points (1/7 from the free-throw line). Happ will matchup with Iowa sophomore Tyler Cook, who has improved in virtually ever statistical category from last year. Cook leads the Hawkeyes in scoring.
D’Mitrik Trice, who is nearing a return for the Badgers, looks to be doubtful for Tuesday night: