Badgers battle Hawkeyes in Big Ten brawl

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Updated: 2/22 11:17 am

Iowa City, IA (SportsNetwork.com) - Ranked rivals in the Big Ten Conference get together on Saturday, as No. 16 Wisconsin pays a visit to No. 15 Iowa.

Wisconsin is riding a four-game win streak, the recent run elevating the team to 21-5 overall and 8-5 in conference. The Badgers, who claimed a 75-62 win at Michigan last Sunday in their most recent outing, have won six of their eight true road games this season, including the last three. Wisconsin already has six wins over teams currently ranked in the Top-25. No other team in the country has more than four.

Iowa comes in with a record of 19-6, which includes an 8-4 league ledger. The Hawkeyes have been victorious in their last two, and three of the last four outings overall. They too beat Michigan recently (85-67), and their most recent triumph was an 82-70 verdict at Penn State last Saturday. Iowa is 12-2 at home this season.

This bout marks the second meeting of the season between these two long-time rivals, with Wisconsin winning in Madison on Jan. 5, 75-71, As a result, the all-time series in knotted at 79-79.

Both teams have performed well in all aspects of the game this season, with Wisconsin scoring 73.3 ppg while allowing 63.3 ppg, and Iowa netting 83.6 ppg and giving up 67.2 ppg.

The Badgers boast four double-digit scorers in Sam Dekker (13.5 ppg, 6.1 rpg), Frank Kaminsky (13.0 ppg, 6.2 rpg), Ben Brust (13.0 ppg, 4.8 rpg) and Traevon Jackson (10.7 ppg, 4.0 apg). The team shoots an efficient 37.2 percent from 3- point range, while coming out ahead in both rebounding (+1.6) and turnover (+2.0) margin. UW converts its free throws at a 74.4 percent clip.

Kaminsky put forth a stellar effort in the recent win at Michigan, finishing with 25 points and 11 rebounds. Dekker added 15 points and nine boards, and Josh Gasser chipped in with 13 points behind three 3-pointers, helping Wisconsin knock down 41.2 percent of its long-range launches (7-of-17). The Badgers committed a season-low two turnovers, while holding the Wolverines to just 19 points in the first half and only 40.0 percent shooting for the game.

Despite only having two players currently averaging double figures, Iowa is the highest scoring team in the Big Ten and the ninth-highest in the nation. Roy Devyn Marble leads the club with 16.4 ppg, while Aaron White contributes 13.2 ppg to go with his team-high 6.6 rpg. White actually shares the rebounding lead with Melsahn Basabe, while Marble and Mike Gesell have a combined 170 assists. In all, 10 guys average at least 5.0 ppg for the Hawkeyes, who shoot 47 percent from the field, draining 36.8 percent of their 3-point tries along the way. Defensively, they permit typical shooting efforts of only .388 overall and .292 from beyond the arc, all while logging favorable margins in both rebounding (+9.5) and turnovers (+1.6).

Iowa spent the majority of its game at Penn State at the free-throw line, converting 31-of-40 attempts, while putting four players in double figures. Basabe led the way with 16 points and eight rebounds, Marble had 15 points, White 14, and Gesell 13 to go with seven assists. Both teams shot 40 percent from the field, but the Hawkeyes nailed seven treys compared to only three for the Nittany Lions.

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