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Badgers’ winning streak hits 3 games

first_imgUW forward Joe Krabbenhoft scored a team-high 16 points and grabbed six rebounds in the Badgers\’ home win over the Iowa Hawkeyes.[/media-credit]After going on a six-game losing streak, the University of Wisconsin men’s basketball team has finally battled their way back to .500 in the Big Ten with a win over Iowa last night, 69-52.While the Hawkeyes were able to shoot 50 percent from the floor, the Wisconsin defense held Iowa to just 38 total shots while forcing 14 turnovers. They also scored 29 points off those turnovers — an average of about two points per turnover. The Badgers only had six turnovers on the night.“I have never heard of that,” Wisconsin head coach Bo Ryan said of their turnover to points stat. “We need to check that. Who’s in charge of that category? I’ve never seen that.”The defensive stats against the Hawkeyes last night were a change from when the Badgers fell 73-69 to Iowa in Iowa City. During the previous game, Wisconsin committed 10 turnovers compared to the Iowa’s nine and only had six points off of turnovers.“The last time we played them, they were picking us apart off the ball screens and on top of the key,” Wisconsin guard Trevon Hughes said. “It was target practice, I should say. We didn’t have our hands up — our hands were down all the time, and that was our main focus.”The Badgers not only played well defensively, but also on the boards. They out-rebounded the Hawkeyes 27-21 and were able to create 18 second-chance points.“Well is it heart or size,” Ryan said. “We always talk about it’s not the size of the dog in the fight, but the fight of the dog. I thought our guys looked pretty scrappy as far as how they went to the glass.”Hughes’s performance on the night, 14 points with two steals and six assists, was highlighted at the end of the second half when he stole the ball from Iowa guard Jake Kelly and went in for a layup with 25 seconds left in the first half.Following the play, Iowa forward Matt Gatens pushed Wisconsin forward Marcus Landry to the ground, which resulted in a technical foul and two free throws made by UW’s Jason Bohannon. Off the free throws, Gatens turned the ball over again, and Hughes was able to get the ball to Bohannon for a 3-point basket with four seconds remaining in the half.Overall, the series of plays at the end of the first half resulted in a seven-point swing for the Badgers to give them a 36-24 lead going into the locker room.“It gets us so fired up to get back out there for the second half,” Wisconsin forward Joe Krabbenhoft said. “But we kind of have to calm ourselves down in the locker room. Guys were really excited about the way we finished [the half].”In the second half, Krabbenhoft and Landry led the way for the Badgers, scoring eight and nine points, respectively. Overall, Krabbenhoft had a team-high 16 points with six rebounds, three assists, two steals and two blocks.“I think Joe had a dream last night that he was going to shoot it pretty well,” Ryan said. “The only thing was I had to get him out and wake him up from the dream. I had to bring him over to the sideline and say, ‘Joe, that’s an open shot you hit, but you didn’t look into the post.’”While Krabbenhoft had a big statistical night, at the end it was all about Landry, who joined the Wisconsin standouts, including Michael Finley and Alando Tucker, in the 1,000-point club. The shot came on a turnaround shot from the post midway through the second half in which he was fouled and made the free throw.“I have been struggling on my free throws the last few games,” Landry said. “If I did have the chance to score my 1,000th on my free throw, I would have probably missed.”With last night’s win, the Badgers climb back to .500 in the Big Ten with a record of 6-6 and a 16-9 record overall. Their record moves them to the center of the conference race and keeps the hopes of an NCAA tournament berth come March a reality.“We are disappointed in some of the outcomes,” Krabbenhoft said. “But we put that behind us. Coach does a great job of keeping us focused on what’s next. We have to forget about the past but learn from it, and we’ve done a good job of that. The learning is what you are seeing here, and that’s why these wins are starting to add up because we’ve learned from the tough losses even a couple weeks ago.”last_img read more