MADISON, Wis. — After taking a commanding 11-point halftime lead, No. 22 Iowa struggled to find a rhythm on offense and ultimately blew another close game at a top-shelf opponent.
The Hawkeyes (12-3, 1-1 Big Ten) scored just two field goals in the first 10 minutes of a 75-71 loss at No. 4 Wisconsin (15-0, 2-0 Big Ten) last night at the Kohl Center. Iowa held sharp-shooting guard Ben Brust without a point in the first half, but the senior scored 19 points after halftime.
Iowa Coach Fran McCaffery was ejected midway through the second half, and the Hawkeyes couldn’t hold the lead. In all three losses this year, the Hawkeyes led by double digits in the first half only to falter after halftime.
“I think we lost the game at the start of the second half,” McCaffery said. “We got (Ben) Brust going, we don’t pick him up. We quick-shot the ball, you can’t go on the road against a ranked team and quick-shoot the ball when the momentum is shifting.
“It’s a hard one, because it’s not like you would say any of those shots were horrible shots. Good players were taking pretty good shots, but we didn’t do anything like we did in the first half. Work the ball side to side, try to get a little better one and we kind of got on that roll where it didn’t seem like we had a basket in a long time at the start of the second half.
“We kept trying to get one five seconds into the shot clock. That’s just not how you want to play against a team that’s as disciplined as has as many weapons as Wisconsin has. So that was what we were trying to guard against. At that point, I wasn’t happy with what we’re doing there, but as the half went on I thought we improved.”
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