For the second straight game, the Badgers found themselves in a tight game. For the second straight game, D’Mitrik Trice came up clutch in crunch time. Trice hit a three off the dribble to put the Badgers up five with 20 seconds remaining, helping the #22 Badgers pull off the upset over #14 Iowa in Iowa City, 72-66. The Badgers went on a 32-19 run to end the game.
Ethan Happ fouled out before Trice’s clutch three, setting the stage for the point guard. Iowa knew who was shooting it, but Trice came off of a nice screen by Reuvers and got to his spot with just enough room to let it fly. Trice led the Badgers with 20 points and four threes.
Pritzl was a key factor off of the bench for Wisconsin scoring 12 points, including seven first-half points when the Badgers badly needed a spark with major foul trouble.
With under 90 seconds remaining and the Badgers down one, Happ was backing down in the post with Brevin Pritzl on the wing. Pritzl’s defender left to double Happ in the post, and Pritzl floated to the open corner. The point center found Pritzl for the wide-open look, and Pritzl knocked down the biggest shot of the game to retake the Badger lead and they didn’t look back.
Wisconsin had a difficult time stopping Iowa inside. Tyler Cook and Luka Garza combined for 30 points for the Hawkeyes while Happ struggled with foul trouble, but the Badgers 45 second-half points propelled them to a huge win in early in the Big Ten season.
The first half was a defensive slugfest in which neither team led by more than four points, and the game went into halftime knotted at 27-27. Wisconsin and Iowa combined shot an abysmal 5/23 from distance. Cook had 10 points to lead the Hawkeyes. Wisconsin had four players with at least two fouls in the first half, and Greg Gard really had to lean on his bench for the rest of the game.
After a Badger bucket to start out the second half, Iowa went on a 16-7 to take a 43-36 lead. Ethan Happ picked up his third foul on an and-one finish by Garza. Happ picking up three fouls in short order in the second half put basically every Badger rotation player in foul trouble. Happ went to the bench, and then Nate Reuvers immediately picked up his third foul on another Luke Garza and-one.
Wisconsin battled back after Iowa’s run. Kobe King knocked down a three off of good ball movement, Davison got loose for a layup, and Happ had an and-one, and then Trice had an athletic finish against two defenders at the rim off of a double screen. The game was tied at 54-54 with just over eight minutes to go.
Davison had nine points in the second half after going scoreless in the first half. Davison also made a few clutch defensive plays, just nights after he ended NC State’s chances of win with a back-breaking charge.
The game was a slugfest in the first half and a scoring clinic in the second.
With the big road win to start out the Big Ten season, the Badgers improve to 7-1 and have won two straight.
Up next, the Badgers play Rutgers at home on Tuesday at 7 p.m.