Fifth-ranked Badgers get best of host Hawkeyes
IOWA CITY, 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.