Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


Wisconsin slips by Iowa

(IOWA CITY, Iowa) — The Wisconsin Badgers (16-4, 7-2) edged out the Iowa Hawkeyes (12-9, 5-5) on the road by the narrowest of margins Wednesday, rebounding from a loss at Northwestern to win 54-52. After a furious comeback in the game’s waning minutes, Jeff Horner’s 3-point try fell just short at the buzzer, giving Wisconsin the two-point victory.

UW head coach Bo Ryan employed his sixth different lineup of the season to start the game. Ryan inserted junior guard Clayton Hanson into the starting five, along with Devin Harris, Freddie Owens, Zach Morley and Mike Wilkinson.

“I thought it was a pretty good matchup,” Ryan said of his decision to start Hanson. “I thought he could give us some things.”


Hanson took advantage of his opportunity to start, giving Wisconsin its first lead of the game with a 3-point field goal. He then drilled his second 3-point field goal of the game with 15:27 remaining, giving the Badgers an 8-4 lead. A little over one minute later, Hanson found himself open once more and made the Hawkeyes pay with another deep ball.

Wisconsin also got a boost from the return of guard Boo Wade from suspension. Just under four minutes into the game, the embattled guard Wade made his return to the court for Wisconsin.

Wade finished off a Wisconsin fast break with a lay-up to earn his first two points of the evening and give UW a 13-6 advantage. Iowa responded by rattling off a 7-0 run, capped by a Greg Brunner 3-pointer that knotted the score at 13.

After Wisconsin regained the lead on a Wade basket, Iowa’s Brody Boyd hit a 3-pointer, giving his team a one-point edge at 18-17.

A pair of free throws from Zach Morley regained the lead for Wisconsin, and Devin Harris opened the margin up with his first basket of the game, a 3-pointer with 7:20 remaining in the opening half.

Hanson hit his fourth trey of the contest at the 6:44 mark, after the Hawkeyes’ Erek Hansen had cut the lead back to two. What turned out to be Hanson’s final points of the night made the score 25-20 in favor of the Badgers. The third-year walk-on from Reedsburg, Wis., finished with 12 points.

“A couple of them just came off some cuts in the swing, and they over-played, and I read that,” Hanson said of his open looks in the first half. “They were all within the context of the offense. I got open looks and was fortunate enough to knock them down.”

The rest of the first half belonged to Mike Wilkinson. The junior forward scored the final seven points of the half for UW, pushing the visitor’s advantage to 32-25 going into the locker room.

The Badgers appeared to be on their way to a comfortable win as the second half began. After a Morley lay-up and a 3-pointer from Wilkinson, Devin Harris reeled off nine points, capped by a steal and a breakaway two-handed dunk that gave UW a 13-point advantage at 46-33 with 11:52 remaining.

The Hawkeyes would not go quietly, however. Steve Alford’s fatigued but scrappy seven-man rotation slowly fought its way back into the game. Horner began the comeback by knocking down a 3-pointer that drew Iowa to within seven at 50-43. A free throw by Brunner trimmed the margin to six with 5:37 to play before Harris answered back.

With Wilkinson in the post, Harris cut to the hoop and converted a good look from the forward into a lay-up. That basket with 4:00 left only halted the Hawkeye charge, however. After a Pierre Pierce lay-up, Boyd drilled a 3-pointer that brought the Carver-Hawkeye Arena crowd to its feet and Iowa within three at 52-49.

After a Morley miss, the Hawkeyes had a chance to close the gap to one, or take the lead with a 3-pointer, but Pierce threw the inbounds pass over Glen Worley’s head and out of bounds. The miscue would prove to be one of two costly turnovers in the final minutes for the Iowa star. Pierce finished the contest with eight turnovers.

“I thought it was a very even game except for the mistakes in handling the basketball, and we had two crucial ones inside two minutes,” Iowa head coach Steve Alford said.

On the ensuing possession, Harris scored Wisconsin’s final two points of the game on a baseline drive, making the count 54-49 in favor of the Badgers with 1:27 left to play.

After Pierce and Harris traded traveling violations, Worley buried a 3-pointer from the left elbow to cut the lead to 54-52 inside of one minute.

Wisconsin milked the clock down to 11 seconds when Morley missed a jump hook from the left block. The Hawkeyes immediately pushed the ball up court, looking for the tie or the win.

“We wanted to defend, get the ball and run without calling timeout,” Alford said. “The guys did a tremendous job, and we got a great look.”

Pierce caught the ball on the right wing, jab-stepped and drew a pair of Wisconsin defenders before swinging the ball to a wide-open Horner in the corner.

“I was guarding Horner to begin with,” Harris said, “But I saw Pierce create some space on Boo, so I jumped out on him and then Boo took my guy.”

Horner, a 44-percent 3-point shooter entering the game, saw his shot fall just short and skip over the rim as time expired, allowing the Badgers to hold on to the victory.

“I can’t fault either team’s effort,” Alford said. “I thought both teams played with an awful lot of effort tonight. I’m really proud of our guys; I think we really battled.”

Pierce led all scorers with 20 points on an efficient 10 of 16 shooting from the field. Brunner added a double-double to the Hawkeye cause with 10 points and a game-high 13 rebounds.

Harris led Wisconsin with 16 points to go along with three assists and three steals.

“He did what we needed him to do,” Ryan said of Harris, “because he had some tough looks. He wasn’t trying to force it.”

Wilkinson contributed 12 points and nine rebounds, including five on the offensive end.

“Every rebound was tough; every time someone scored in the post it was tough,” Wilkinson said. “Nothing was easy on either end of the floor inside. It was hard-fought and we got lucky and came away with it at the end of the game.”

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