January 22, 2009

The good, bad and ugly from Iowa loss

MADISON, Wis. - From sheer jubilation to agonizing defeat, the Wisconsin men's basketball team was no stranger to emotion during last night's loss to Iowa. After Jordan Taylor drilled a 30-foot jump shot to tie the game at the buzzer, UW was unable to carry that momentum into the extra session and lost its third straight game.

Before the Badgers move on to their next contest, BadgerBlitz.com takes a look back at the good, bad and ugly of Wednesday night's loss to the Hawkeyes.

The Good:

Emergence of Taylor: Even before his game-tying shot from well beyond the arc, Taylor started to show his capability as a scoring threat for UW. In 20 minutes of action, the true freshman point guard scored a career high 10 points, dished out three assists, logged two steals and, perhaps most importantly, did not commit a turnover.

With Trevon Hughes continued struggles, the Badgers absolutely needed Taylor to step up his role as a guard and make some plays on both sides of the ball. In fact, Taylor, a former Mr. Basketball in the state of Minnesota, was involved in arguably the two biggest plays of the game.

Keaton Nankivil making an impact After getting pulled from the starting line-up for the first time this season in favor of Kevin Gullickson, Nankivil responded with a perfect night shooting from the field. He also ripped down three rebounds, two of which came on the offensive glass.

The Bad: Taylor stole the ball from David Palmer with just under three minutes to play and with the Badgers up three. As he sprinted down the court and went in for the lay-in, Iowa's freshman Aaron Fuller came from behind and swatted his shot. However, as replay shows, there was plenty of contact on the play, so much so that Taylor fell to the ground and landed well under the basket.

While no foul was called, the officials on the court were quick to slap Bo Ryan with a technical foul that sparked a 9-3 Hawkeye run over the remainder of regulation. Luckily for UW, Taylor hit a 30-foot shot as time expired to tie the game, but that swing played a major impact in the remainder of the game.

The Ugly:

Perimeter defense in overtime period: On back-to-back defensive possessions, the Badgers allowed Iowa the opportunity to fire shots in rhythm. And unfortunately for Wisconsin, both of those shots went through the nylon giving Iowa a six-point lead with just over a minute to play.

With the shot clock winding down, Jeff Peterson pulled up for a deep three-point shot and canned it to give Iowa a five-point edge. Then following a Taylor lay-up, the Badger defense collapsed on a driving Peterson who kicked it out to a wide-open Devan Bawinkel who stroked the perimeter shot. In fact, the Hawkeyes did not miss a shot in the extra five minutes while UW limped to another loss with its 3-for-9 shooting in overtime.

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