The Hawkeyes (20-7, 11-4) have lost three of their last four and slumped into third place in Big Ten play. A team that was the odds-on league favorite two weeks ago now enters the final week of regular-season play in a funk.
Iowa dropped its sixth straight to the Badgers (18-10, 10-5), and this one stings more than the others. Three times Iowa led by at least six points in the second half, yet the Hawkeyes failed to extend their lead each time. Iowa had its chances late in the game, yet it was Wisconsin that converted.
With 6:01 left, Iowa guard Peter Jok drilled a jumper to tie the game at 56-56. Iowa’s offense fizzled from there with its final eight shots missing their mark. Iowa scored on only two of its final 11 possessions and missed two of five free throws.
Iowa knotted the score at 56-56 on Jok’s jumper, but Wisconsin capitalized on two offensive rebounds, which led to a Bronson Koenig 3-pointer to go ahead by three points. Jok chopped the deficit to 59-58 with a pair of free throws.
While Iowa struggled, Wisconsin sizzled. Three of the Badgers’ final four baskets were 3-pointers. Nigel Hayes stepped up with a 3-pointer with 1:39 left to put the Badgers up 62-58. Uthoff was fouled on Iowa’s next possession, but he missed the front end of a one-and-one. Wisconsin guard Zak Showalter drove inside for a layup to extend the lead to 64-58.
On Iowa’s next possession, Big Ten steals leader Ethan Happ snagged the ball from Iowa point guard Mike Gesell, which led to a pair of Koenig free throws. It was over.
Jok led Iowa, which shot 32.1 percent, with 21 points. Adam Woodbury had a career-high 18 rebounds.
-- Scott Dochterman
2:43 2nd - Wisconsin 59, Iowa 56
Bronson Koenig followed the unlikely Charlie Thomas' 3 with a 3 of his own and Wisconsin leads 59-56 heading to the final stretch.
Iowa is just 2 for its last 11 and looks tired. Adam Woodbury in particular is gassed; he has 18 rebounds in 32 minutes.
This media timeout is much needed for him.
7:41 2nd - Wisconsin 53, Iowa 51
The Hawkeyes haven't scored in 2:39, hitting just two of their last 10, and find themselves on the wrong end of an 8-0 run.
Bronson Koenig's 3 tied it, then Khalil Iverson -- we've lost track of how many dunks he has tonight -- threw down a ridiculous windmill slam to put the Badgers in front.
9:51 2nd - Iowa 51, Wisconsin 48
Iowa hasn't shot it a lot better (42.9 percent) in the second half, but the Badgers (41.7) haven't had as many easy looks.
Jarrod Uthoff has seven second-half points and 11 total, while Anthony Clemmons is up to 10.
The Hawkeyes led by six just 2 1/2 minutes into the second half, and led by six just before Nigel Hayes drained a 3 prior to the latest media timeout.
Adam Woodbury already has 12 rebounds for Iowa, which has a 27-18 advantage on the boards.
17:30 2nd - Iowa 41, Wisconsin 35
The Hawkeyes begin the half on a 7-0 run and really get a full Carver-Hawkeye Arena crowd rocking.
Jarrod Uthoff made sure the Badgers knew he was back in the game, beginning the half with two free throws off a drive, then burying a deep 3-pointer that left his teammates in awe.
Uthoff already surpassed the four points he scored in the first half, when he missed the last 6 1/2 minutes with two fouls.
Half - Wisconsin 35, Iowa 34
Wisconsin shot 51.9 percent, getting a handful of dunks and layups off penetration, and leads Iowa by one despite 17 points from Peter Jok.
The Hawkeyes turned it over eight times in the first half, unable to build off an energetic start that saw them lead for the first five minutes.
Iowa shot 4-for-6 from 3-point range, thanks mostly to Jok's 3-for-4 mark, but converted on just 41.7 percent of its field goal attempts overall.
Wisconsin was paced by seven points apiece from Vitto Brown and reserves Jordan Hill and Khalil Iverson.
Jarrod Uthoff did not play the last six minutes with two fouls, heading to the locker room with four points.
3:20 1st - Wisconsin 33, Iowa 30
Wisconsin may want to think about putting a body on Peter Jok. The guard hit two straight 3s to flip a three-point Iowa deficit into a three-point lead.
But Iowa couldn't convert that into an extended run. The lead has changed seven times in the first half.
Bronson Koenig's second 3 of the game tied it up before two Jok free throws put the Hawkeyes back in front.
Jok now has 15 points, shooting 3-for-4 from beyond the arc, after not scoring in the first eight minutes.
Jordan Hill's 3 put the Badgers up one, then Vitto Brown followed with a jumper for the current margin.
Jarrod Uthoff picked up his second foul with 6:31 to go and took a seat with four points.
8:15 1st - Wisconsin 22, Iowa 20
Peter Jok missed his first three shots and was whistled for a traveling violation, but stayed with it and his effort began to pay off out of the break.
Jok drove and finished at the rim, then intercepted a pass and drilled a 3-pointer as the trailer to put Iowa up one.
Vitto Brown and Khalil Iverson responded with back-to-back dunks and Wisconsin has stayed in front since.
Iowa struggling to string together consecutive good possessions.