Wisconsin grinds out double-overtime win over Iowa

Andrew Wagner, The SportsXChange
The SportsXchange

MADISON, Wis. -- During the course of two overtime periods, the Wisconsin Badgers made one field goal -- a 3-pointer by freshman Sam Dekker -- Wednesday night.
Turns out, it was all they needed.
Dekker's shot pushed Wisconsin ahead for good in a grinding 74-70 victory over Big Ten rival Iowa Hawkeyes at the Kohl Center.
"He was wide open," Wisconsin coach Bo Ryan said. "He stayed loose on the bench through all those time outs. He was bouncing his legs and he was ready."
The Badgers shot 33 percent for the game and were even worse after regulation, going 1 of 9 from the field. But their free-throw shooting -- a thorn in the side all season -- proved to be the difference down the stretch as Wisconsin made 13 of 14 in overtime while the Hawkeyes went 3 of 7 from the line and shot 25 percent from the field.
"Both teams made mistakes at crucial times," Ryan said. "Shot selection became a little scary but we just hung on and hung on some more."
Ben Brust led the Badgers with 18 points while Jared Berggren finished with 16 and added 14 rebounds. Ryan Evens added 15 points and eight rebounds while Traevon Jackson scored 13 for Wisconsin (16-7, 7-3), which is tied with Ohio State for fourth place in the Big Ten.
"It was good to just keep fighting and find a way to get it done," said Berggren, who recorded his second double-double of the season.
Mike Gesell finished with 14 points to pace Iowa(14-9, 3-7) with Aaron White adding 13 with five rebounds and Zach McCabe scoring 10 for the Hawkeyes (14-9, 3-7).
"It's kind of been the way our season's gone," Iowa coach Fran McCaffery said. "It's unfortunate but at the same time, we missed 49 shots. We have to start making shots."
To get to overtime, Wisconsin erased a nine-point deficit over the final four minutes and tied the game three times in the final 90 seconds. Iowa took the lead in the final minute of regulation, forcing a turnover from Ryan Evans that he converted into an easy lay-up and three-point play, giving the Hawkeyes a 58-55 lead with 45.8 seconds left.
Wisconsin drew even again when Traevon Jackson's 3-pointer took a lucky bounce and went in with 20 second left and Josh Oglesby's long-range shot missed, sending the game to overtime.
Oglesby put Iowa on the board first, connecting on a 3-pointer with 2:21 left in the first overtime. Down 61-58 after that shot, Berggren put Wisconsin ahead for the first time since the waning moments of regulation on a pair of successful free throws with 3:57 left. The Badgers caught a break on their next possession when, after the Hawkeyes missed two good looks, Anthony Clemens was called for traveling on the rebound, giving the ball back to Wisconsin.
But the Badgers blew that chance, turning the ball over on the inbounds. Mike Bruesewitz was called for a block, sending Aaron White to the line for free throws that tied the game with 1:56 to play.
Ryan Evans missed on Wisconsin's next possession but after the rebound, the ball found its way to Dekker for his shot and Wisconsin went 7 of 8 from the line to close it out.
NOTES: The loss snapped Iowa's three-game winning streak against Wisconsin. ... The Badgers have scored at least 70 points in their last three games. ... Six of Iowa's seven Big Ten losses have come by nine points or less. ... After scoring a career-high 20 points against Iowa on Jan. 19, Wisconsin redshirt freshman George Marshall went 0-5 from the field in 14 minutes of action. ... Iowa's bench outscored Wisconsin's, 33-8. ... In their last two games, the Badgers have made 70 percent of their free throws. Coming into the game, Wisconsin was last in the Big Ten with a .622 free-throw percentage.

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