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The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


Men’s basketball: Badgers fend off Hawkeyes in another overtime battle, secure spot in national polls

UW bests Iowa, pockets second consecutive victory against Big Ten foe
Justin Mielke

After 40 minutes of regulation between Greg Gard’s Badgers and Fran McCaffery’s Hawkeyes, an antsy crowd at Carver Hawkeye Arena in Iowa City, Iowa, would need to wait at least five more minutes before one squad prevailed.

Reminiscent of a heavyweight bout between Rocky Balboa and Apollo Creed, the two adversaries exchanged blows until the final buzzer. Patrick McCaffery, Iowa’s 6’9 forward, registered 19 of his 24 total points following intermission while Tyler Wahl, Wisconsin’s do-it-all senior, dropped 15 of his 21 tallies in the second half and overtime.

With 18 of UW’s next 21 matches scheduled against conference opponents, a win would certainly provide Gard’s group with a boost prior to the grueling two-month stretch on the horizon. Fortunately, with a bit of luck and execution, Wisconsin did just that. With an ode to Earvin “Magic” Johnson, here’s how “winning time” unfolded.


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Crunch time

At the 2:13 mark of regulation, UW freshman Connor Essegian nailed a three, igniting the Wisconsin bench and elevating the red and white’s advantage to eight. Iowa, nearly trailing by double digits, appeared fatigued and ready to pack it in.

Or so we thought.

With 54 ticks remaining, Connor McCaffery kickstarted Iowa’s comeback. After Steven Crowl misfired from the charity stripe, the Hawkeyes’ Tony Perkins executed an inbound layup, truncating UW’s lead to just three.

The black and gold’s signature moment arrived after Essegian received an inbounds pass from Wahl. Perkins, who scored on the previous possession, stripped UW’s first-year guard and dished to a red-hot Patrick McCaffery for a long-range snipe from the left wing. His timely three-pointer knotted the contest at 60 apiece.

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Wisconsin’s Chucky Hepburn, notorious for his Kobe-esque shot-making ability in the clutch, missed long on a fadeaway jumper during UW’s final touch of regulation. The Badgers would play overtime for the third game of its 2022-2023 campaign.


Still riding off its momentous scoring run, Iowa continued to grit its teeth during the extra stretch. Patrick McCaffery notched the first points of overtime after drawing a foul on a running floater in the lane. The two conference rivals traded baskets for nearly three minutes off an array of quality looks.

Per usual, Tyler Wahl performed under the spotlight. The senior forward responded with seven of Wisconsin’s first nine points in overtime, allowing Gard’s group to endure Iowa’s offensive onslaught.

With 48 ticks to spare, Steven Crowl took out his do-it-yourself kit. The 7-footer backed down Connor McCaffery from the three-point stripe to the paint and launched a right-handed jump hook as the shot clock expired. His bucket put UW ahead 74-73, and from that point on, the Badgers did not waver.

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On Iowa’s next possession, Hepburn swiped Patrick McCaffery and drilled a pair of free throws to stretch Wisconsin’s edge to three. Iowa cashed in on a layup down low, but UW easily broke its full-court defensive scheme and spoon-fed Essegian an outlet pass for a transition dunk.

Despite its abysmal shooting efficiency, including a 6-22 split from deep and a 6-11 mark from the line, UW prevailed through late-game heroics and discipline. When it mattered most, Wisconsin’s half-court offense clicked.

Looking ahead, Wisconsin returns to the Kohl Center Thursday, Dec. 15 for a showdown against the Lehigh Mountain Hawks.

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