IOWA CITY, Iowa – Jon Leuer scored 19 points, Jordan Taylor added 16 and 13th-ranked Wisconsin held off Iowa 62-59 in overtime Wednesday night for its sixth win in seven games.
Keaton Nankivil added 10 points for the Badgers, who tuned up for their showdown with top-ranked Ohio State on Saturday by barely surviving a road test against the Big Ten's worst team.
Wisconsin's Tim Jarmusz hit a 3 and Leuer followed with a jumper to give the Badgers (18-5, 8-3 Big Ten) a 61-57 lead with 51 seconds left.
Bryce Cartwright answered with a jumper for Iowa, but Wisconsin wisely called timeout on a loose ball with 8.7 seconds to go.
Taylor was then fouled after appearing to lose the inbound pass. He hit a free throw, and Cartwright missed a 3 at the buzzer.
Cartwright had 14 points to lead Iowa (10-14, 3-9), which was seeking its first three-game winning streak in the Big Ten in four years.
Matt Gatens hit a pair of free throws to put Iowa ahead 53-51 with 1:36 left in regulation, but missed a jumper after Leuer was called for traveling in the paint.
Taylor drilled an 18-footer to bring the Badgers even with 28 seconds left, and Bryce Cartwright missed one from the wing at the regulation buzzer.
Wisconsin was lucky to survive after trailing 23-18 at halftime. Iowa's lead could have been much larger than that, given that Wisconsin shot just 18 percent from the field, and the Hawkeyes soon came to regret it.
The Badgers hit 10 of their first 17 shots of the second half. Taylor threw up a layup that spun around the rim and, for once, went in, and he followed with a 3 to finally put the Badgers ahead, 34-33, with 13:12 left in the second half.
But instead of folding like they had more than once this season, the Hawkeyes roared back out in front 49-43 with a run highlighted by Basabe's three-point play.
The Badgers didn't back down, either, tying it up at 51 on Keaton Nankivil's 3 with 3:54 to go in regulation.
Wisconsin started out by tossing shots from everywhere that seemed to land anywhere but the basket.
The Badgers missed 17 of their first 19 shots and didn't score any second-chance points in the first half despite grabbing 12 offensive boards.
It got so bad that Wisconsin's best shot of the half didn't even count. Freshman Josh Gasser grabbed a loose ball near halfcourt and sent a desperation fling into the bucket — just after the shot clock expired.
The Hawkeyes didn't really take advantage, though, blowing three alley-oops of varying degrees of difficulty in a choppy first half.
Iowa's 0-6 start in the Big Ten has many wondering if — not when — the Hawkeyes will get a league win. The Hawkeyes have shown signs of life for first-year coach Fran McCaffery since then, but Wisconsin slipped out of Iowa City with its 13th win in 15 tries against Iowa.
Now the Badgers get their first crack at the Buckeyes — a game that'll be the most anticipated meeting in the Big Ten so far this season.