Josh Gasser gathered the final rebound and slammed the ball emphatically onto the court. He raised his fist high and ran to the center of Carver-Hawkeye Arena to meet teammates, several leaping into each other with unabashed joy.

Sometimes, during the grind of an intense Big Ten season, you've got to stop and appreciate an accomplishment as impressive as Saturday's performance. So after No. 16 Wisconsin let a nine-point halftime lead vanish and stormed back for a stirring 79-74 victory against No. 15 Iowa, the Badgers' celebration was far from muted.

"It's really sweet," Gasser said afterward. "Iowa's such a good team and this was such a tough environment. We wanted it really bad. We knew we had a big lead there and kind of let it slip away a little bit. But we knew it was going to come down to the last couple minutes, who was going to make the most plays there. Every little play matters at the end there.

"When you come out with a win in that situation, you're happy. You want to celebrate. You want to enjoy it. You've got to love it, and that's what you play for."

The Badgers (22-5, 9-5 in Big Ten play) won their fifth consecutive game to leapfrog the Hawkeyes (19-7, 8-5) for third place in the conference. And it would not have been possible without Gasser's steadying influence on the floor.

Gasser buried a 3-pointer from the right wing with one second remaining on the shot clock to bring Wisconsin within 64-63 at the 4:06 mark of the second half. He canned another 3-pointer to give the Badgers a brief one-point lead a minute later and set up center Frank Kaminsky for a layup off a pick and roll, which pushed Wisconsin ahead for good, 73-72, with 37.1 seconds left.

"He's got some stones when he hits those big shots," Badgers forward Sam Dekker said of Gasser. "He always seems to do it. It's Josh. He comes off those screens, always spotting up in the right spot it seems like. When you have a guy like that that's not afraid of the moment, it's going to help your team."

Gasser finished with 12 points and played the final 10 minutes with three fouls. Kaminsky (21 points), Dekker (15 points, 11 rebounds) and freshman Bronson Koenig (career-high 12 points) also scored in double figures for Wisconsin.

Saturday represented the kind of knock down, drag out Big Ten game most have come to expect from these two teams. Last month, Wisconsin came back from an 11-point halftime deficit in Madison to win, 75-71, and the teams split two games a year ago, with each winning by four points.

This time, the lead changed hands nine times, and the game wasn't decided until Iowa's Zach McCabe airballed a 3-point attempt with the Hawkeyes trailing by three points and 17 seconds remaining. Badgers point guard Traevon Jackson hit two free throws to put the game out of reach.