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Wisconsin leans on defense to dump Iowa

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Freshman Connor Essegian bounced back from his worst shooting performance of the season, scoring a game-high 17 points to pace Wisconsin to a 64-52 victory over Iowa on Wednesday night in Madison, Wis.

Tyler Wahl had 14 rebounds and 11 points and Chucky Hepburn added 12 points as Wisconsin (16-11, 8-9 Big Ten) swept the season series from the Hawkeyes.

Essegian was 0-for-10 from the field in a 58-57 home loss to Rutgers on Saturday, including 0-for-7 from beyond the arc, and missed two shots in the final 11 seconds. He hit 5 of 13 shots against the Hawkeyes, including 2 of 7 from long range.

Wisconsin took control with a 6-0 run for a 59-47 lead with 4:20 remaining. Iowa went more than three minutes without scoring until Payton Sandfort’s jumper from the paint made it 59-49 with 2:32 remaining.

Filip Rebraca and Tony Perkins each had 13 points for Iowa (17-11, 9-8). Kris Murray, who entered Wednesday second in the Big Ten at 20.7 points per game, was held to five points on 2-of-10 shooting, including 1-for-5 from beyond the arc. It was only the second time this season Murray was held under 10 points.

The Hawkeyes, who entered leading the Big Ten at 80.3 points per game, fell to 1-6 when being held under 70 points. Wisconsin improved to 12-2 when holding opponents to 60 points or fewer.

Iowa was a season-worst 3 of 28 from 3-point range. The Hawkeyes were 3 of 24 from deep in an 80-60 loss at Northwestern on Sunday.

Essegian, Max Klesmit and Hepburn each hit 3-pointers for a 9-2 run that put Wisconsin up 49-43 with 8:17 remaining.

Wisconsin led 27-26 at the break despite no field goals over the final 3:45.

The Badgers, who entered No. 1 in the country with just 8.7 turnovers per game, had eight in the first half, including four in the first four minutes of the game.

Murray did not score in the first half, playing only eight minutes after picking up two fouls. Steven Crowl, the Badgers’ leading rebounder, played just five first-half minutes after he was whistled for two quick fouls. Crowl finished with eight points and three rebounds in 13 minutes.

–Field Level Media

Field Level Media was founded by sports media executives with more than 40 years of combined experience working with the most influential media companies in the industry.

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