Behind yet another strong performance from senior forward Frank Kaminsky, No. 5 Wisconsin cruised to a second consecutive road win and continued to distance itself from the rest of the Big Ten.
Kaminsky scored 24 points and grabbed nine rebounds to help guide the Badgers (19-2 overall, 7-1 Big Ten) to a 74-63 victory over Iowa (13-8, 4-4), their second win over the Hawkeyes in the last three games.
With the victory, UW moves to 7-1 in Big Ten play for just the third time in school history, all of which have come under head coach Bo Ryan. The Badgers are the only team in the Big Ten that haven’t lost at least three games in conference play up to this point in the season.
Though Kaminsky led the way with his fourth 20-plus point performance in his last five games, Wisconsin had three other players reach double digits as well. Sophomore forward Nigel Hayes added 14 points and both junior forward Sam Dekker and redshirt senior guard Josh Gasser chipped in 11 points.
Senior forward Aaron White, who injured his shoulder last week against Purdue, finished the night with 15 points and seven rebounds for the Hawkeyes, who have now lost three straight.
Both offenses were firing on all cylinders in the first half, with Iowa shooting 64 percent from the field in the game’s first 20 minutes. The Badgers took a 42-36 lead into the locker room despite the Hawkeyes’ hot shooting, thanks in large part to their 10 second-chance points on seven offensive rebounds. On the game, Wisconsin had 15 total offensive rebounds and outrebounded the Hawkeyes 35-24.
UW extended its lead to 11 in the early stages of the second half, but Iowa cut the deficit to five with 13:46 remaining. It was starting to look like déjà vu all over again for the Badgers, who had blown double-digit second-half leads against both Rutgers and Michigan in their previous two road games.
Only this time, Wisconsin had an answer.
The Badgers responded with a 13-5 run to put the game away, which included a highlight-reel, one-handed, put-back dunk by Hayes and an off-balance 3-pointer from Gasser with the shot clock about to expire.
Iowa, on the other hand, couldn’t get much of anything going on offense for most of the second half, shooting just 30.4 percent from the field.
Wisconsin minimized its mistakes, turning the ball over just six times and making more free throws (21) than the Hawkeyes attempted (20). UW leads the country in both fewest fouls and fewest turnovers.
The Badgers now return to Madison, where they’ll play three of their next four games, starting with a matchup against Tom Crean’s Indiana Hoosiers at 6 p.m. Tuesday night.