IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) -- Iowa finished unbeaten at home for the
first time in 40 years.
Jeff Horner scored 22 points, Adam Haluska added 16 and Iowa (No. 23 ESPN/USA Today; No. 24 AP)
beat Wisconsin (No. 25 ESPN/USA Today; unranked AP) 59-44 Saturday, completing its first undefeated home
schedule since 1965-66.
The Hawkeyes -- who clinched at least a No. 2 seed
for the Big Ten tournament -- finished with a school-record 17 home
wins, nine of which came against ranked teams.
Iowa also finished unbeaten at Carver-Hawkeye Arena, which
opened in 1983, for the first time.
"That was one of our main goals," said forward Greg Brunner.
"To accomplish that is something nobody else has done."
Up two at halftime, Iowa (22-8, 11-5 Big Ten) slowly built its
lead to 17 midway through the second half. Haluska scored 10 of
Iowa's first 13 points after the break, and Horner and Mike
Henderson each scored twice during an 10-0 run that helped give the
Hawkeyes a 47-30 lead with 9:08 left.
Horner scored 14 of his 22 points in the second half, and added
seven rebounds and a pair of steals.
"This was the game where we needed him to score," said Iowa
coach Steve Alford of Horner. "He took it on himself to do that.
He led the team today."
Wisconsin (19-10, 9-7) got within 53-41 as Ray Nixon hit a pair
of 3s, but the Hawkeyes took the game out of the Badgers' hands by
draining the shot clock on every possession down the stretch.
The win kept alive Iowa's hopes for a share of its first Big Ten
title since 1978-79, which will happen if Purdue upsets Big Ten
leader Ohio State tomorrow.
Kammron Taylor led the Badgers with 11 points and Alando Tucker
added 10. The loss dropped Wisconsin to fourth in the Big Ten, the
first time in coach Bo Ryan's five seasons that the Badgers failed
to finish in the top three.
After losing at Michigan State Thursday night, Wisconsin became
the first team in the Big Ten this season to play back-to-back road
games on just one day's rest. The Badgers fatigue showed in the
second half, as they shot just 6-of-30 from the field and fell to
2-8 on the road this season.
"I like to protect my players, but I don't like excuses. But I
think anybody who has seen our guys knows that that was way too
quick a turnaround," Ryan said. "In all fairness to them, I wish
they could have had more time."
Wisconsin's 44 points were a season-low and marked the sixth
time this season Iowa held an opponent under 50.
"They were playing great defense and it kind of rattled us,"
said Tucker. "We weren't staying focused. We weren't staying
The news was all positive for Iowa, as senior forward Greg
Brunner left the game late in the second half with what appeared to
be a right leg injury. Brunner returned to the court but did not
play during the final three minutes.
Alford said after the game that the injury does not appear
"I think he'll be okay," Alford said. "We can get him a lot
of rest heading into the weekend. Hopefully he'll be okay."
Wisconsin took its largest lead, 16-7, with an early 11-0 run
that was capped by back-to-back 3-pointers from Kammron Taylor and
Michael Flowers. The Hawkeyes responded with a 9-0 run to tie the
game at 16, then outscored the Badgers 8-2 over the final 2:44 of
the first half to take a 24-22 lead at the break.
Wisconsin went 4-of-5 from 3-point range in the opening half but
committed 10 turnovers and failed to shoot a free throw.
"They were fired up and we just didn't do a good job of
matching their intensity for 40 minutes," said Taylor. "We only
came out and played one half."
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