Fifth-ranked Iowa aims to continue its late-season run when it hosts No. 25 Wisconsin on Sunday in Big Ten play at Iowa City.
The Hawkeyes (19-7, 13-6 Big Ten) have won six of their past seven games and are closing in on the No. 3 seed and a double-bye in next week’s Big Ten tournament at Indianapolis.
Wisconsin (16-10, 10-9) has been sliding in the other direction, with four losses in its past five games. The Badgers can’t get higher than the No. 6 seed.
Iowa is coming off two strong victories — a stellar 73-57 road victory over then-No. 4 Ohio State on Feb. 28 and a 102-64 home shellacking of Nebraska on Thursday.
The rout of the Cornhuskers marked the fourth time this season that the Hawkeyes reached the century mark.
Jordan Bohannon led the way with a season-best 26 points and matched his career high of eight 3-pointers.
“Any time you have a player get eight 3s in a game, it’s probably going to be a good thing for everybody,” Iowa coach Fran McCaffery said afterward. “I thought he was tremendous moving the ball, defensively, and taking shots when he was open. Once he got going, we were looking for him and found him.”
Bohannon is looking forward to Sunday’s contest, which will be his final game at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
The fifth-year senior’s playing future was in doubt when he endured two hip surgeries in 2019 — one on each hip — and he will leave Iowa as the school’s all-time leader in 3-pointers (352) and assists (617).
“It’s been an unreal journey,” Bohannon said after the rout of Nebraska. “A lot of the work I’ve put in the last year and a half, there’s been a meaning to it. I’ve put up a lot of shots through injury and rehab.”
All-American big man Luka Garza puts up the most shots for the Hawkeyes and he averages team-best figures of 23.9 points and 8.4 rebounds. Joe Wieskamp averages 15.1 points, followed by Bohannon’s 10.3 average and team-leading 68 3-pointers.
Garza poured in 30 points as Iowa knocked off the Badgers 77-62 at Madison, Wis., on Feb. 18. Micah Potter had 23 points and 11 rebounds for Wisconsin.
The setback was the second in the current stretch in which the Badgers have lost four of five games. Wisconsin recovered to post a 68-51 road win over lowly Northwestern before falling 74-69 at home to then-No. 5 Illinois and 73-69 on the road to No. 23 Purdue on Tuesday.
Despite the loss to the Boilermakers, Badgers coach Greg Gard was encouraged by the effort.
“I felt we played better that night than we had played in a couple weeks,” Gard told reporters on Friday. “Going through the film, I thought that was true. Obviously, the final result wasn’t where we wanted it to be. But I thought we played better basketball, and that’s a step in the right direction and obviously it doesn’t get any easier on Saturday. We’ve got to pay even better basketball.”
Brad Davison scored 15 points in the loss to Purdue, but leading scorer D’Mitrik Trice (14.0) was just 2-of-10 shooting while scoring 10 points. Trice matched his season best of 29 points in the previous game against Illinois.
–Field Level Media