Feb. 24, 2012
BY Karl Anderson
UW Athletic Communications
Star of the Game
It’s pretty hard not to make Matt Gatens and his 33 points the star of the game, but on the Wisconsin side it should go to Rob Wilson and the spark he provided off the bench. The senior scored a season-high 11 points on 5-of-7 shooting as the Badgers held a 21-5 edge in bench points. Wilson was part of a lineup that helped the Badgers work back from a 13-point deficit and get the team in a position for a potential comeback win.
Play of the Game
We look to Wilson again for Thursday night’s play of the game. With 5:52 left, Wilson took the ball at the top of the key, drove down an open lane and threw down a highlight-reel dunk. The slam sparked a 7-0 Wisconsin run that brought UW within two points at 63-61 with 21 seconds to go.
Turning Point of the Game
A transition 3-pointer from Ben Brust forced an Iowa timeout with 12:56 left in the game as the Badgers had clawed back from a 13-point hole to make it 51-48 Iowa lead. Gatens, who scored 18 points in the first half, caught fire again out of the timeout. He had all of Iowa’s points in a 10-2 run that pushed the Hawkeyes’ lead back up to 11 points with 9:13 to play. It would prove to be a deficit too large for Wisconsin to overomce.
Stat of the Game
It does not happen often that a player turns in the type of performance that Gatens had against the Badgers Thursday night. Gatens’ 33-point effort is just the second time in the last four years that a UW opponent has scored at that rate. Gatens and Kansas State's Jacob Pullen (38 points against the Badgers in the 2011 NCAA Tournament) were the two highest scoring outputs since Davidson’s Stephen Curry tallied 33 points in the 2008 NCAA Tournament’s Sweet 16 on March 28, 2008.