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Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Hawkeye Down

Iowa certainly delivered one of the lowest moments of Wisconsin's season in Iowa City, but the Badgers shot down the Hawkeyes for a measure of payback on Wednesday night. Wisconsin's upperclassmen took turns picking apart the Iowa defense, leading to an enjoyable 69-52 win.

Statistically Wisconsin led Iowa in every traditional category, including all three shooting percentage stats. The team was especially effective converting buckets after Iowa turnovers. [box score] And the best part about watching it from the comfort of my own home was that the totally worthless "stand up old people" chant by the student section was barely audible!

In the first half, the junior back court of Jason Bohannon and Trevon Hughes combined for 21 of the team's 36 points on a mercurial 8-of-13 shooting from the field (3-of-4 on treys) and five assists. Hughes finished with 6 assists, 2 steals and only 1 TO. Hard to believe, but the assist total was a career-high for Pop. Bohannon, on the other hand, has now nailed 14-of-19 (73.6%) from 3-point land in the last four games. Keep your fingers crossed for more of that.

After the halftime break, Marcus Landry came to life and Joe Krabbenhoft continued to put in a full day's work. The senior forwards totaled 16 of UW's 33 second-half points. Landry surpassed the 1,000-point plateau for his career, but it was Krabby's aggressiveness on offense that helped subdue any hopes Iowa had of pulling an upset. He finished with a team-high 16 points.

Jon Leuer looked really comfortable working the glass against Iowa's big men and grabbed eight rebounds.

Iowa seems to have uncovered a really nice player in sophomore Jake Kelly. Kelly is extremely quick with the ball; he shook Hughes on a few occasions. His 17 points were the bright spot for Todd Lickliter's crew.

Yesterday, the Wisconsin State Journal had a nice article on the progress made by the fifth upperclassmen in Bo Ryan's rotation: Kevin Gullikson. With the return of Keaton Nankivil, Gully is bound to see a decrease in minutes. However, unless his superior post entry passing ability magically transfers to someone else, Gullikson will still have a place on the floor from time to time.

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I had to chuckle at a few whistles in this game. Two of Jordan Taylor's fouls were complete and utter whiffs by the officials. The first was when one of the Hawkeyes stumbled after getting an offensive rebound and JT just happened to be in the vicinity. The second time, Taylor was playing defense on a drive but did not appear to even touch the player in question. He left the floor amazed that he had to explain himself to Greg Gard.

In Iowa's defense, when Kelly (or was it Gatens?) dove to the floor to save the ball after it was stripped by Krabbenhoft he never hit touched the end line. The referee had a different idea.

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