No. 5 Wisconsin’s Kaminsky comes up big in victory over Iowa
Frank Kaminsky wasn’t letting another second-half lead get away from No. 5 Wisconsin.
Kaminsky had 24 points and nine rebounds and the Badgers locked in defensively during the second half en route to a 74-63 win over Iowa on Saturday. Coach Bo Ryan called the consecutive road wins over Michigan and Iowa "huge" for his team.
"We’re road warriors," Kaminsky said. "We’ve kind of embraced that mentality throughout the years. We were able to silence the crowd with some shots."
Nigel Hayes scored 14 points and Sam Dekker and Josh Gasser each added 11 for the Badgers (19-2, 7-1 Big Ten).
Wisconsin had 21 second-chance points and only committed six turnovers to win its fifth straight against the Hawkeyes (13-8, 4-4).
Aaron White had 15 points and seven rebounds to lead Iowa, which has dropped three straight games. White was limited in practice this week after injuring his shoulder last week against Purdue.
The Badgers led comfortably most of the second half, but Iowa closed the gap to 49-44 with more than 13 minutes left.
For Kaminsky, it started to look like a repeat of Wisconsin’s last game. The Badgers held on to a 69-64 win at Michigan after leading by 11 points in the second half.
"We didn’t want that to happen again," Kaminsky said. "We knew in our minds we had to get stops and then convert on offense."
Wisconsin did just that. The Badgers pulled away when Iowa went nearly seven minutes without a field goal.
Hayes made a flashy one-handed, put-back dunk in the middle of that 13-5 run. A few minutes later, Gasser did a double-pump fake before hitting a step-back 3-pointer at the end of the shot clock.
"I was able to get a little separation and I just let it fly confidently," Gasser said. "Fortunately, it went in."
Later, White hit a 3-pointer with 2:57 left to bring Iowa within 65-57.
But Wisconsin scored seven straight points from the foul line — four from Kaminsky — to put the game away. The Badgers made 21 of 26 free throws.
The Hawkeyes made only 3 of 17 shots down the stretch before a couple of buckets in the final minute.
Iowa shot 64 percent in the first half, but trailed 42-36 at halftime. The Hawkeyes shot 30 percent in the second half.
"We had a couple of quick shots, contested shots, and then we had a couple of goofy turnovers that really hurt us," Iowa coach Fran McCaffery said.
Gabriel Olaseni added 12 points for Iowa.
Iowa: The Hawkeyes made eight of their first nine shots to reach 17 points in the first eight minutes, matching their first half total in the earlier meeting between the schools.
Wisconsin: The Badgers out-rebounded Iowa 35-24. Wisconsin’s 15 offensive rebounds tied a season best, which also came against the Hawkeyes.
ESPN commentator Dan Dakich’s trip to Iowa City was mellower. His comments during Wisconsin’s 82-50 win over Iowa on Jan. 20 riled up McCaffery and Hawkeye fans.
Dakich called Iowa center Adam Woodbury "gutless" after Woodbury appeared to poke a pair of Wisconsin players in the eye. McCaffery defended Woodbury, saying Dakich should apologize.
Iowa officials said there was extra security for the game. Some Hawkeye fans in the student section chanted at Dakich to start the second half, but he appeared unfazed.
Kaminsky scored 20 or more points in consecutive games for the third time this season . White played a game-high 38 minutes despite coming off the injury . Iowa’s bench outscored Wisconsin 17-6.
Iowa plays at Michigan on Thursday.
Wisconsin hosts Indiana on Tuesday.