Iowa City, IA (SportsNetwork.com) - Frank Kaminsky sank two key free throws with seven seconds remaining, the last of his 21 points, and No. 16 Wisconsin overcame a late surge by 15th-ranked Iowa to claim a 79-74 victory at Carver- Hawkeye Arena.
Sam Dekker contributed 15 points and 11 rebounds while Josh Gasser added 12 points on 4-of-5 shooting from 3-point range for the Badgers (22-5, 9-5 Big Ten), who have won five in a row since a 1-5 stretch in late January.
"Having the confidence to step up and take certain shots at the end of games is back," Kaminsky admitted. "I think we had that at the start of the season. It kind of went away for a little bit, and now I think we have that again."
Roy Devyn Marble posted 21 points and dished out 11 assists for the Hawkeyes (19-7, 8-5), who couldn't maintain momentum from wins against conference opponents on the previous two Saturdays. Josh Oglesby had 17 points in a losing cause.
"They were able to get the stops they needed, and we weren't able to, that's what it boiled down to," said Marble. "We didn't make the plays down the stretch, and they did."
Iowa used a 17-7 run to turn a 51-45 deficit into a 62-58 edge after an Aaron White layup with 6:27 to play.
But Gasser hit a three a short time later to pull Wisconsin to 64-63, kicking off a game-deciding 17-8 spurt which locked up the contest. Oglesby connected on a jumper the next trip down the floor and the Hawkeyes enjoyed their final three-point lead of the game.
Wisconsin's Nigel Hayes then finished off a 3-point play and Gasser was good again from long distance to give the Badgers a 69-68 advantage with 2:48 on the clock. The Badgers' Bronson Koenig answered a Jarrod Uthoff bucket, and Kaminsky followed an Oglesby make with a two-pointer of his own to keep the visitors in front at 73-72.
Kaminsky swiped the ball from an Iowa player, was fouled then went to the line and connected twice. Iowa's Zach McCabe was short on a three-ball, and Traevon Jackson finished the Badgers' run by hitting two free throws with seven seconds left for a 77-72 contest.
"He was trying to make a play, and he presented the ball and I just hit it out of his hands. That's one of those plays where it's kind of up to the ref to see what they're going to call. I thought I got it clean," Kaminsky said. "I'm just happy it came out in our favor."
Uthoff was good on two from the line to cut Iowa's deficit to three, but Kaminsky stepped up to connect on his last two attempts for the winning margin.
The Hawkeyes scored the game's first five points, but Wisconsin totaled the next nine and stayed in front for the entire first half. Its lead stretched to as many as 10, 34-24, on a Dekker triple with 7:36 left in the period, and Wisconsin went up 40-31 at the break after Hayes sank two from the line.
Gabriel Olaseni's two foul shots with 10:55 remaining put the Hawkeyes up 52-51, their first lead since the early stages.
Both programs are back in action on Tuesday, as Wisconsin heads to Indiana and Iowa travels to Minnesota ... The Hawkeyes shot 54.8 percent from the floor in the second half to fuel their comeback attempt.