Freshman Luka Garza scored 17 points with a career-high 16 rebounds, Tyler Cook added 17 points and Iowa walloped Wisconsin 85-67 on Tuesday night, snapping a two-game losing streak.
Isaiah Moss scored 15 points for the Hawkeyes (11-11, 2-7 Big Ten), who won for just the second time in seven games and for the first time at home in league play.
The difference for Iowa was that it never trailed after falling behind by at least 17 points in each of its previous six games. Instead, the Hawkeyes got off to a scorching start — forcing nine straight Badgers misses to go up by 12 midway through the first half.
Iowa, which jumped ahead by holding Wisconsin star Ethan Happ to just four points in the opening half, made it 50-32 on an Moss 3 early in the second half and never looked back.
Happ finished with 21 points and 10 rebounds and Khalil Iverson had 17 for the Badgers (10-11, 3-5), who played their worst game in weeks just four days after throttling Illinois 75-50 in Madison.
Wisconsin: The Badgers missed an opportunity for a rare road win in the league, and they’re now two games below .500 in conference play. Wisconsin plays six of its last nine Big Ten games at home — but that won’t matter if the Badgers perform as poorly as they did in Iowa City.
Iowa: The Hawkeyes played one of their worst games in recent memory their last time out, an 87-64 loss to No. 3 Purdue in which they trailed 51-20 at halftime. So to jump out to a big lead and keep it was an extraordinarily encouraging sign for an Iowa team that had gone largely backward since Big Ten play resumed. Injuries also limited Iowa’s rotation to nine guys — a move that produced arguably the program’s best win on the year.
Wisconsin travels to face Michigan State on Friday.
Iowa plays at Nebraska on Saturday