February 11, 2009

Badgers look to avenge loss to Iowa

MADISON, Wis. - Jordan Taylor drilled a high arching buzzer beater from well beyond three-point territory to send the first meeting between Wisconsin and Iowa into overtime.

The Badgers seemingly had the momentum heading into the extra frame, but on the heels of 100 percent shooting in overtime, the Hawkeyes upset the Badgers 73-69.

That was UW's second consecutive overtime loss and third straight losing effort. At the time, Wisconsin was only halfway through its longest losing streak in over a decade.

When the two teams play again tonight at the Kohl Center, the Badgers will look to extend their current two-game winning streak, while Iowa hopes to win back-to-back games for the first time since beating Northern Iowa and Iowa State in mid December.

"Each game is its separate entity," UW head coach Bo Ryan said earlier this week at his press conference. "I hear all these other people talking about when they played this team, that team. I don't get into all the fuzzy stuff, I just get real pinpoint, okay, we got to get better at this, we have to do this and we have to do that."

In the first meeting, Iowa shot nearly 47 percent from the field, and many of their good looks seemed to come off of solid ball screens. Four Hawkeyes players scored in double figures, with David Palmer leading the way with 21 points.

"It's just the numbers," Ryan said. "If you set 50 (ball screens) during the game and somebody scores buckets and they run the numbers that they run, you play another team and another team ran 12 during the game, there's certain rules. You try to prevent getting to the basket, you try to prevent a real wide-open shot.

"How does Penn State take our easy baskets away that we go (Sunday). I'm sure they looked at it, but there are some things they took away but then a guard makes a play to find an open guy."

Preventing Iowa from getting to the lane will be more difficult this time around as Cyrus Tate, the Hawkeyes leading rebounder, is back in the lineup after missing the first meeting.

UW senior Marcus Landry, who needs only seven points to log 1,000 for his career, will likely draw the match up with the 6-foot-8 Tate. In the first meeting, Landry led UW with 13 points and eight rebounds, but was unable to lead his team to victory in the contest.

Tonight, Landry, who has made some noise in the lane and gotten to the free throw line 14 times in UW's past two games, will look to continue the trend.

"He's drawing some contact," Ryan said. "Making reads where he can present the ball in his arms and in harms way and where guys are going to bang him. He's been using his body a little better to get there."

As far as the rest of the Badgers frontcourt goes, it is still questionable whether sophomore Keaton Nankivil will return to the starting lineup following an ankle injury last week.

In his absence, fellow sophomore Jon Leuer has filled the void, and filled it quite well. In his first two career starts, Leuer has scored 15 and 12 points respectively against Illinois and Penn State on 12-for-22 shooting (55 percent).

"The starting has nothing to do with whether Jon's scoring or not," Ryan said. "He still got 24 minutes. If you look at his minutes, he was scoring pretty well when he was coming in off the bench. But you know, when you get an injury and certain things happen and you get certain match-ups."

Tip-off is set for 7:30 P.M. tonight at the Kohl Center and will be televised live on the Big Ten Network.

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