It took the Wisconsin Badgers until the first day of March last season to win fourth game away from home.
This year, the Badgers accomplished that feat before the calendar even flipped to December.
D’Mitrik Trice scored 20 points as No. 22 Wisconsin put a capper on a great opening month with a 72-66 win over No. 14 Iowa tonight at the Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
Ethan Happ added 13 points and five assists as UW improved to 7-1 on the season and 4-1 away from the Kohl Center. UW is now 2-0 in true road games, adding the win over the Hawkeyes to a victory over Xavier on November 13.
UW finished 4-11 in road/neutral site games en route to a 15-18 overall finish in 2017-18.
It’s been said many times in the first month of the season, but it bears repeating: This is a different team this season.
Brevin Pritzl added 12 points off the bench, which overcame foul trouble and rebounding struggles to win the Big Ten opener.
Tyler Cook had 19 points and 15 rebounds for Iowa (6-1), which got 11 points apiece from Luka Garza and Jordan Bohannon.
Iowa momentarily took control in the second half with a 10-2 run that began with a 3-pointer from Bohannon. Garza capped off the burst with a three-point play to give the Hawkeyes a 46-38 lead with 12:56 left.
But the Badgers battled back, like they’ve done several times this season, to take a 58-56 lead on two free throws by Trice with 6:22 left.
On the next possession, Trice had a wide-open layup after a steal but somehow missed it. He grabbed the offensive rebound but ended the possession with a missed 3-pointer.
Happ gave UW a 60-56 lead with 4:40 left, but Iowa answered with the next five points. A three-point play by Joe Wieskamp gave Iowa a 61-60 lead with 3:13 left.
Pritzl gave the Badgers a 63-61 lead with a 3-pointer from the left wing after a great feed by Happ. After getting a defensive stop, UW extended the lead to 65-61 when Happ drove and scored.
Happ fouled out with 45.8 seconds left and Bohannon cut the Iowa deficit to two after a pair of free throws. After Trice and Bohannon traded 3-pointers, Brad Davison made two free throws to give UW a 70-66 lead with 15.5 seconds left.
Weiskamp missed a three, and Trice sealed the game with two free throws.
The Badgers dealt with major foul trouble the entire game, but still went into halftime tied at 27 with the Hawkeyes.
The Badgers found a way to win tonight, that’s what it’s all about in this conference. No idea how many game Wisconsin will win in Big Ten play this season, but they have the grit and will be a tough out.