Badgers women's basketball tops UW-River Falls in exhibition - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Badgers women's basketball tops UW-River Falls in exhibition

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MADISON, Wis. -- Thanks to balanced scoring, the Wisconsin women's basketball team tipped off its 2014-15 season with a 94-55 exhibition victory over UW-River Falls on Sunday at the Kohl Center.

A layup by senior Jacki Gulczynski, and a 6-0 run for UW, started the Badgers' campaign. UW-River Falls' Richell Mehus countered UW's run with a 3-pointer of her own at the 17:45 mark, but Wisconsin responded with a 14-2 run to put the Badgers up 20-5 with 11:47 remaining in the first half.

The Falcons used four-straight 3-pointers – three from freshman Katie Messman – to cut the deficit to six points (25-19) with 9:19 to play, but Wisconsin countered with layups and jumpers of their own to close out the half on a 23-6 run.

Junior Dakota Whyte tallied 15 first-half points and junior Nicole Bauman recorded 13 points to push the Badgers to a 48-25 halftime lead. Overall, seven Badgers contributed to Wisconsin's first-half point totals.

"I was pleased with Dakota Whyte and Nicole Bauman, they really showed up and played well," UW Head Coach Bobbie Kelsey said. "They're kind of a one-two punch, and we want this all the time, so we'll see."

Wisconsin didn't let up in the second, and big halves from Gulczynski (11 points) and freshman Cayla McMorris (11 points) helped propel UW to a 94-55 win.

Six players ended with double figures. Nicole Bauman led all players with what would have been a career-high 18 points, going 4-for-6 from the field and draining two-of-three 3-pointers. Bauman added seven assists, two steals and four rebounds. Gulczynski recorded the 11th double-double of her career, closing out the game with 14 points and 12 rebounds.

Whyte added 17 points, six assists and five steals, while McMorris tallied 15 points and four rebounds in her Badger debut.

"I thought the tempo was really good," Whyte said. "With the offense we're running we need to have high-intensity and high-tempo."

Sophomore Malayna Johnson and redshirt senior Cassie Rochel each added 10 points.

UW shot 58.7 percent (37-of-63) from the field and 40.0 percent (4-of-10) from beyond the arc. UW-River Falls finished the game 20-of-63 (31.7% percent) from the field, including 8-of-20 (40.0 percent) from 3-point range.

The Badgers used their strong presence to make it to the line 26 times, making 16 for 61.5 percent, while the Falcons went to the line 12 times, making 7 for 58.3 percent.

The Falcons were led by Messman, who finished with 12 points and four rebounds on 4-of-7 shooting from beyond the arc. Fellow freshman Taylor Karge added nine points and four rebounds.

Wisconsin only turned the ball over nine times and forced UW-River Falls to commit 18 turnovers. The Badgers edged the falcons in rebounding, 42-34, and steals, 12-6. Wisconsin recorded nine blocks with Rochel and Johnson each snagging three.

Wisconsin totaled 24 assists in the game while UW-River Falls only grabbed five. Bauman led all players in assists with seven.

Wisconsin returns to the Kohl Center on Wednesday, Nov. 12, for a 7 p.m. exhibition game against Minnesota Duluth.

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