March 4, 2010

Good, bad and ugly from Iowa win

MADISON - Anytime a team cruises to a 27-point win in a Big Ten conference game, chances are it was doing something right. Whether it was Jon Leuer shooting 89 percent from the floor or Jason Bohannon ripping down nine rebounds, things went according to planned in UW's 67-40 win over Iowa on Wednesday night.

Before shifting attention to Illinois and the regular season finale, takes a look back at the good, bad and ugly from the Iowa game.


Seniors sent out in style:

Sticking with the recent trend, UW sent its seniors out in style with an easy win over lowly Iowa. Both Trevon Hughes and Bohannon did their part to help the team to victory. The senior guard duo that has scored more than any other two-player combo in school history combined for 26 points on 10-of-22 shooting.

They also combined for 13 rebounds, seven assists, two blocks, four steals and only three turnovers. It was a good way for a couple of players that have a chance to leave the program as the winningest class in school history to leave the friendly confines of the Kohl Center.

Jon Leuer back in form:

Other than the Minnesota game a couple of weeks ago, Leuer really has played exceptional basketball of late. In his last three outings, including starts at Indiana and at home against Iowa, Leuer has shot over 60 percent from the field and has played an instrumental role in a defense that has held two straight opponents under 50 points.

Part of the reason he is having so much success so soon after missing nine straight games with a broken wrist is the way his teammates are distributing the ball. Overall, Wisconsin has been very astute with the ball and are creating more for others than not.

That makes it easy for the offense to operate at a highly efficient rate and forces opposing defenses to panic.

"I don't know if it was an overall panic," Iowa head coach Todd Lickliter said. "But we got anxious during possessions. They got easy scores on our defensive mistakes and we got anxious. We know how good they are. We know the situation. We know we're in trouble and your percentage of play goes down, unfortunately.

"You can't do that."


When Bohannon is able to collect a career high nine rebounds, chances are the Badgers are having a nice night on the boards. Considering the Badgers out-boarded the Hawkeyes by a 33-20 margin with Keaton Nankivil collecting as many rebounds as the reporters covering the game, it becomes an even more impressive statistic.

The three starting guards for head coach Bo Ryan reeled in 15 boards, Leuer collected five, J.P. Gavinski, Jared Berggren, Rob Wilson, Mike Bruesewitz, Tim Jarmusz, Ryan Evans and Wquinton Smith all combined for 10 rebounds, too.


Iowa's 3-point shooting:

For the first few minutes of the game it seemed as though Iowa was poised to make scoring difficult for the Badgers while taking good shots on the offensive side of the ball. Instead, when UW went on the decisive 18-0 run, Iowa went cold from both the perimeter and the field.

In the first half, one where the Hawkeyes only mustered 16 points, the team shot 29 percent from the floor and a miserable 11 percent clip from downtown. It's difficult to win on the road in the Big Ten as it is, but when you can add your overall field goal percentage and perimeter shooting percentage together and still wind up nearly 20 percent worse than the opponent shot, things are not going too well.


Slow game:

On senior night, the most important thing on the minds of Wisconsin's players was securing the victory. In doing so, outside of the 18-0 run that featured three dunks and a barrage of 3-pointers, UW beat down the Hawkeyes in somewhat dull fashion.

Not discrediting the win whatsoever or saying anything even close to those lines, I'm just saying from a viewer's prospective, Wednesday night's game did not offer much in the realm of drama or excitement.

But as they say, a win is a win is a win.

Give UW credit for dominating most, if not all, phases of the game. I doubt they care how they get the win as long as they eventually come out on the winning side.

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