No. 19 Iowa bids to extend its winning streak to a season-high five games on Monday when it hosts Wisconsin in a battle of Big Ten rivals in Iowa City.
The Hawkeyes (14-5, 5-3), who have won eight in a row at home, have defeated three ranked foes during their current four-game winning streak. They bested No. 12 Maryland by 18 points on Jan. 10 before later defeating No. 19 Michigan on Jan. 17 and No. 24 Rutgers last Wednesday.
Those victories have helped Iowa ascend in an ultra-competitive Big Ten that features seven teams with winning records in the conference.
Included in that cluster is Wisconsin (12-8, 5-4), which was unable to overcome a 28-point second-half deficit and fell for the second time in three games with a 70-51 setback at Purdue on Friday.
The Badgers, who made a school-record 18 3-pointers in an 82-68 win against Nebraska last Tuesday, went 0-for-8 from 3-point range in the first half versus the Boilermakers. They finished the game 7 of 22 from beyond the arc, although Wisconsin coach Greg Gard was more concerned with his team getting outrebounded 42-16.
"That (3-point shooting) was secondary to how we couldn't clean up the glass on the defensive end," Gard said. "That ignited Purdue and gave them a lot of confidence. You keep getting cracks at it, you're eventually going to make a shot. They were quicker to the ball than we were.
"You continue to give 'em crack after crack after crack. We rotated guys in. It's not that we didn't talk about it for two days straight constantly, knowing that they were the No. 1 offensive rebounding percentage team in the conference, it was going to be a battle and always is. We didn't do a good job of matching physicality."
Wisconsin will be tasked in guarding Big Ten leading scorer Luke Garza, who recorded his 11th double-double with 28 points and 13 rebounds in Iowa's victory over the Scarlet Knights on Wednesday.
"I don't know if he's elevating his game," Hawkeyes coach Fran McCaffery said of the junior center. "He's just dominant every night. You look at him, and you're like, 'Well, I'm not surprised, 28 and 13.'"
Garza, who is averaging 23.2 points and 10.3 rebounds this season, totaled 17 and five in two losses versus Wisconsin last year.
"You can control what you can control," Garza said of his success this season. "You can't control the numbers or anything like that. But you can control your effort."
Sophomore guard Joe Wieskamp scored 15 of his 18 points in the second half on Wednesday for Iowa while freshman guard Joe Toussaint added 14 points.
Wisconsin is led by junior forward Nate Reuvers, who averages a team-high 13.8 points and 5.2 boards.
He had 10 points on 4-of-11 shooting from the floor -- including a 1-for-5 effort from 3-point range -- against Purdue.
Junior guard D'Mitrik Trice and junior forward Micah Potter led the Badgers with 11 points each against the Boilermakers.
The Badgers have gotten the better against the Hawkeyes in recent years, having won four of their last five road games and eight of the last 10 overall.
--Field Level Media