Badgers earn big road win at Iowa in overtime

Wisconsin fans were forced to sweat out another close game Sunday night but it ended with the Badgers coming out on top with a 78-75 at Iowa in overtime.

It appeared the Badgers had the game in hand entering the final minute of regulation but the Hawkeyes erased their eight-point lead quickly. They got help from Wisconsin going 0-for-4 from the field, twice missing the front end of a 1-and-1 at the free throw line and a turnover by freshman Connor Essegian. The last mistake allowed Patrick McCaffery to hit a game-tying 3-pointer. Chucky Hepburn got a look at game-winner but couldn’t find the bottom of the net.

But Wisconsin flushed the collapse and went basket for basket with Iowa in overtime, eventually taking a 74-73 lead on a Steven Crowl floater. Hepburn and Tyler Wahl would get steals on the next two possessions before Connor Essegian punctuated the victory with a runaway dunk.

Wisconsin, no stranger to close games this season, has won its last five games by no more than five points, while the team’s only losses this year — Kansas and Wake Forest — have come by a combined four points.

Wahl led the Badgers with 21 points, seven rebounds and four steals. Hepburn stuffed the stat sheet, finishing with 11 points, six rebounds, four assists and four steals. Essegian had 14 points and six rebounds, while Steven Crowl had 12 points and seven assists.

Iowa, playing without star forward Kris Murray, was paced by Patrick McCaffery’s 24 points. Connor McCaffery and Tony Perkins each had 17 points.

With their outside shots not falling, the Badgers owned the paint, scoring a season-high 52 points inside. It helped offset going 6-for-22 from beyond arc and 6-for-11 at the free throw line.

The win was the Badgers first at Iowa since 2018 and it moved the club to 2-0 in Big Ten play for the third time since 2016-17.

Wisconsin will come home to face Leigh on Thursday.