No. 6 Wisconsin routs No. 25 Iowa behind Kaminsky double-double
With his team leading by double digits at halftime, Wisconsin’s Josh Gasser tried to give his team some extra motivation in the locker room.
Don’t let up and play hard the full 40 minutes, he pleaded.
The sixth-ranked Badgers listened to their senior leader. Frank Kaminsky had 13 points and 11 rebounds, and Wisconsin relied on tough defense to rout No. 25 Iowa 82-50 on Tuesday night.
"I thought we played a good first half. We’ve done that before," Gasser said. "We wanted to play a good 40 minutes for once."
The Badgers (17-2, 5-1 Big Ten) led by 18 at the half by going 6 of 14 from 3-point range and holding Iowa (13-6, 4-2) to 7 of 25 from the field (28 percent).
Wisconsin finished off the Hawkeyes with a strong performance on the glass, with nine of 15 offensive rebounds coming in the second half.
Sam Dekker added 17 points and eight boards for the Badgers, who won their second straight since losing starting point guard Traevon Jackson to a foot injury.
Jackson’s replacement, Bronson Koenig, shot 3 of 6 from 3-point range and finished with 13 points.
The relaxed Badgers were in a jovial mood after the blowout win over one of the league’s other top teams. At one point in the postgame news conference, Kaminsky referred to Gasser as "Captain America."
Gasser left the court for about 3 minutes in the second half after holding his left arm in pain. He was cleared to return after an exam in the locker room.
"Josh is Captain America. Josh is the hero of our team," Kaminsky joked.
Jarrod Uthoff, a Wisconsin transfer, had 12 points for the Hawkeyes. Iowa lost its first road game of the season.
"Anything short of a complete effort and concentration, you’re going to struggle to win this game," Iowa coach Fran McCaffery said.
Wisconsin opened a 23-11 lead with 6:35 to go in the first half on Dekker’s second 3.
Iowa turned to a 2-3 zone, trying to slow down the shooters. But the Badgers are pretty good against the zone, too, since their forwards also can handle the ball well.
On the next two possessions, the Badgers got the ball to Hayes, who was stationed near the foul line in the middle of the zone. Hayes found cutters to the basket who were fouled each time for free throws.
Dekker had a scooping layup later off a baseline move, before Kaminsky riled up the Kohl Center crowd with a dunk to make it 35-17 with 6 seconds remaining in the half.
Dekker, Kaminsky and Nigel Hayes combined for 46 points in a strong showing by the Badgers’ front court.
Iowa’s front line, which had been averaging about 35 points a game, couldn’t keep up. Forward Aaron White had seven points, while center Adam Woodbury scored just one. The Hawkeyes were held to 28 percent shooting (7 of 25) in the first half.
"I think we did a great job of limiting their transition points and rebounding the ball," Gasser said.
The Badgers got the Hawkeyes on dribble penetration plays. They played with trademark efficiency with 16 assists to just one turnover. Rebounding hurt Iowa especially in the second half, and Wisconsin held a 37-23 edge for the game.
"It’s not one thing or one area where we broke down — it was a combination of things," McCaffery said.
The 17-2 start through 19 games for Wisconsin is the school’s best since going 18-1 to start the 2006-7 campaign.
Iowa: The Hawkeyes were 3-0 on the road going into Tuesday’s game, having beaten No. 12 North Carolina, No. 18 Ohio State and Minnesota. … Iowa finished the night shooting 42 percent (20 of 47).
Wisconsin: The Badgers won their fourth straight in the series. They last lost to Iowa 70-66 on Jan. 19, 2013.