IOWA CITY – The Carver-Hawkeye crowd was ready to be heard even before the tip against their BIG 10 rival Wisconsin Badgers. The Hawkeyes haven’t had much luck doing battle with the Badgers as of late, losing five in straight matches. But this game was billed differently with the #8 ranked Hawks walking into the gym as the favorites.
The first half lived up the pregame rival type hype. The Badgers of Wisconsin held a mere one point lead at the half way mark. Peter Jok stole the first half show knocking down 3 of 4 from three point land. His badger counterpart, Bronson Koenig would answer with a couple buckets of his own behind the arc. The back and forth contest would ensue through the first half. Hawkeye leading scorer, Jarrod Uthoff, was quite only playing 10 first half minutes due to foul trouble. Jok would make up for Uthoff’s absence scoring half of Iowa’s points with 17 big ones.
The second half started quickly as Uthoff would be well rested and come out firing with five points in the first three minutes. The badgers were forced to take a team time out to slow Iowa’s momentum. Wisconsin would answer with a couple buckets of their own. The second half was much like the first trading buckets back and forth. At times both teams would secure slight leads that wouldn’t last long. Adam Woodbury’s height would be biggest difference as the Hawks kept staying in the game with second chance opportunities. Woody, as the team affectionately calls, would have 18 boards, 10 of which were offensive. In the end, the Hawks couldn’t put a run to match the Badgers down the stretch. Jok and Uthoff went cold missing a few open looks that would normally be expected to fall.
As the gap grew, a few timely three point buclets from the Badgers were too much for Iowa to overcome. The Hawkeyes lost their 6th straight contest against Wisconsin and lost their first home game in almost a year, 67-59.
There were some opportunities says Coach McCaffrey “I thought we got great shot opportunities. I thought 14 turnovers contributed to that. I can’t remember what the breakdown was in the first half versus second half. I know I think we had eight the first half, six in the second half, I think. But six turnovers is too many. Eight is way too many against a team that’s playing half-court man. We’ve got to do better than that, but we got a little hesitant at times.”
The Hawkeyes will now look to get off the two game losing streak against another Big 10 rivals in Ohio State Sunday on CBS.
McCaffrey says this being in the national spotlight is a great motivator “It’s a great opportunity. We haven’t played well in the last two games, yet we have done some good things in those two games.”
The game is scheduled for a 3:00pm tip-off and can be heard on 104.9 KBOE with the pregame at 2 PM.
Story provided by Zach Payne of KBOE/KMZN