Wisconsin women end four-game losing streak with win at home
MADISON — With four players scoring in double figures, the Wisconsin women's basketball team defeated Ohio State 82-71 in front of 6,070 fans at the Kohl Center on Sunday afternoon. Thanks to hot shooting and tough defense, the Badgers snapped their four-game losing streak.
With the victory, Wisconsin improves to 3-6 in Big Ten Conference play (10-11 overall) and puts the Buckeyes at 4-5 (14-11).
"The shots finally fell for us," said head coach Bobbie Kelsey. "We finally had four people in double figures, our top scorers, at the same time. We got some rebounds, Jacki (Gulczynski) was a monster on the boards, Taylor (Wurtz) was a monster on the boards, both defensively and on the offensive rebounds."
For the first time in four games, more than two Badgers scored 10-or-more points. A game-high 21 points came from Michala Johnson and Gulczynski. Gulczynski recorded her fourth double-double of the season by pulling down 15 rebounds, which ties her career high.
Wurtz earned her fifth double-double of the season with 17 points, all of which came in the second half, and 14 rebounds. Morgan Paige added 12 points, going 5-for-6 from the free throw line.
Behind Gulczynski and Wurtz, Wisconsin outrebounded Ohio State 49-34, its second-highest rebounding total of the season.
The Badgers finished the game shooting 47.5 percent (29-of-61), including an 8-of-19 (42.1 percent) performance beyond the arc. The Buckeyes shot 28-of-73 (38.4 percent) and hit just 5-of-18 (27.8 percent) from 3-point range.
Wisconsin got to the line 22 times, making 16 for 72.7 percent, while Ohio State went to the line just 13 times, making 10 for 76.9 percent.
Ohio State was led by 17 points from Raven Ferguson and 15 points from Darryce Moore. Martina Ellerbe led the Buckeyes in rebounding with 11.
After gaining a 10-7 lead with 13:40 left to play in the first half, the Badgers never looked back. UW led by as many as 13 points in the period, taking a 30-17 advantage with 5:08 remaining, behind Gulczynski's 15 first-half points, Wisconsin ended the half leading 36-28.
After shooting 0-for-5 in the first half, Wurtz exploded early in the second half, scoring UW's first 11 points from the field. With 11:00 left in regulation, the Badgers had their largest lead of the game at 22 points (62-40) and led 66-45 with 9:10 to play.
The Buckeyes started to pressure UW on defense and hit three straight jumpers to pull within 14 points (66-52) with 7:47 to go. Ohio State used an 11-0 run to cut Wisconsin's lead to seven points (74-67) with 2:39 to play but a timely 3-pointer by Wurtz with 1:45 to play ended the run. The Badgers went 5-of-6 from the free throw line over the last minute to secure the victory.
"We didn't play very good defense there when they made that run, we gave up almost 20 (points) and let them come back in the game but the clock was not big on minutes," said Kelsey. "It ticked on down but we have to watch that because other teams will watch that and they'll try to take advantage of what we're not doing well. But we're happy."
Ohio State had 13 steals in the game to force 10 Badger turnovers in the second half and 17 in the game. Wisconsin dished off 14 assists, led by four from sophomore Dakota Whyte.
The Badgers continue Big Ten action at the Kohl Center on Wednesday when they face Nebraska at 7 p.m.
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