Iowa's vaunted press was as nasty as promised, making Wisconsin look like it was playing with a greased ball. Good thing the Badgers have a few guys who can score from long range.
Sean Mason scored 12 of his 22 points from 3-point range, Ty Calderwood had three 3s and No. 19 Wisconsin held No. 20 Iowa to four field goals in the last 11 minutes for a 74-60 victory Friday in the Big Ten tournament. The Badgers (22-8) will play the winner of the Northwestern-Michigan State game in the semifinals Saturday.
"Mason and Calderwood came alive in the second half with big shots," Wisconsin coach Dick Bennett said. "It was a very difficult game. Their pressure is relentless. Had we not made a couple of key 3s, I don't know if we could have gotten over that hump."
Calderwood finished with 14 points, and Jon Bryant added eight on 2-of-3 shooting from 3-point range. It was the first victory in four games for the Badgers.
It was the end of an era for the Hawkeyes (18-9), with Tom Davis coaching his last game in the conference. Davis is being forced out after 13 seasons at Iowa, and his players have made it their mission to prolong his departure as long as possible.
Davis isn't done just yet, though, with the Hawkeyes expected to make the NCAA Tournament.
"He was talking about how special Wisconsin is to him being from there, and we would have really liked to have gotten him a win today against them," Ryan Luehrsman said of Davis. "That's what the NCAA Tournament gives you -- it gives you life."
"Sixty-four teams and anybody's got a chance. We've got as good of an opportunity as anybody, and we're just going to go out and lay it on the line for coach."
Jess Settles scored 21 points -- two shy of his season high -- before fouling out. Dean Oliver was the only other Hawkeye in double figurewith 10 points.
The Badgers came in averaging a Big Ten-fewest 11.8 turnovers, but they struggled against Iowa's press. Wisconsin had 20 turnovers, seven more than its previous high this season.
But the Badgers' outside shooting kept them in the game. Mason hit two 3s, and Calderwood and Bryant each added another as Wisconsin tied the game at 44 with 11:29 left. Kent McCausland had a 3-pointer for the Hawkeyes, but then the Badgers settled down and turned up their own defense.
"We had a lot of confidence coming in," Mason said. "Once that second half started, we wanted to get our confidence rolling. We got a couple of good looks and we hit those looks. Everything started coming on after that."
Wisconsin went on an 18-4 run, getting 3-pointers from Bryant, Calderwood and Mason during the spurt that gave the Badgers a 62-51 lead. Mason was 4-of-7 from 3-point range, while Calderwood was 3-of-4.
The score would have been even more lopsided, but Wisconsin coach Dick Bennett spotted the Hawkeyes two points. Mason was driving to the basket with 5:07 left when he collided with McCausland. The whistle blew, and when Mason was called for a charge, Bennett jumped up and slammed the scorers table with both hands.
He was called for a technical, and McCausland made both of the technical free throws to cut Wisconsin's lead to 51-57.
"I disagreed with the call. I still do," Bennett said. "I deserved the 'T.' But we came out with a steal right after that, and the kids bailed me out as they usually do."
The Badgers got a steal on Iowa's next possession, and Maurice Linton was fouled and made both free throws. Mason then hit another 3-pointer before Oliver finally ended the run with a layup. But Iowa managed only two more field goals the rest of the game.
The frustration got to the Hawkeyes as Settles picked up a technical with three minutes to go. Settles hit a 3-pointer to cut Wisconsin's lead to 65-58, and replays showed Calderwood fouled him. When Settles didn't get the call, he screamed in protest and was hit with the technical.
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