Badger women fall to Hurricanes in ACC/Big Ten Challenge - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Badger women fall to Hurricanes in ACC/Big Ten Challenge

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CORAL GABLES, Fla. -- The Wisconsin women's basketball team couldn't overcome early struggles and turnovers, as the Badgers fell to Miami 66-54 in Coral Gables, Florida, in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge Thursday night.

Junior Nicole Bauman and senior Jacki Gulczynski led the way for UW with 18 points apiece, but it wasn't enough as the Badgers logged their fifth-straight loss. UW had 28 turnovers compared to Miami's 11, which would be the difference in the game.

“People are working hard, but the decision making is not there,” UW Head Coach Bobbie Kelsey said. “We've got too many people trying to do too much with the ball, instead of trying to make an easy pass.”

Miami (5-2) opened up the game with 11-straight unanswered points, but a jumper by Gulczynski ignited a run for the Badgers (1-5), who would eventually pull within three points (22-19) with 7:13 remaining. Despite making 11-of-19 shots (57.9 percent) in the first half, UW would pull no closer.

A late surge by Miami, a 7-3 run in the last 3:11, closed out the half with Wisconsin trailing 36-27. UW committed 15 turnovers in the first half, which led to 17 points off turnovers for Miami.

A layup from junior Dakota Whyte opened up the second half for UW to pull the Badgers within seven points with 19:38 to play. But Miami used tough defense and solid shooting to open up a double-digit lead (40-29) with 18:27 in regulation.

The Hurricanes used a series of small runs to secure their largest lead of the game, 16 points (58-42), with 5:59 remaining. Wisconsin was plagued by turnovers once again in the second, giving up 11 points to Miami off of 13 turnovers, and falling to the Canes 66-54.

“We have to watch the turnovers. We have to solve it. This is the fourth game with 20-something turnovers and we can't have that,” Kelsey said. “I know we're playing athletic teams but it's not all that. We have to take care of the ball and make better decisions.”

The Badgers finished the night with 19-of-35 shooting (54.3 percent) from the floor, while the Hurricanes wrapped up play shooting 25-of-72 (34.7 percent). UW shot 44.4 percent (4-of-9) from beyond the arc, while Miami converted 7-of-25 (25.9 percent) 3-pointers.

Bauman finished the game with a career-high 18 points, 12 of which came in the first half. She also notched four assists, three steals and two rebounds. Gulczynski added two rebounds and a steal to her 18 points, finishing 2-for-2 from 3-point range. Junior Tessa Cichy and sophomore Malayna Johnson each added seven points, a career high for the sophomore. Whyte closed out UW's scoring with four points.

Miami was led by Adrienne Motley's 21 points, seven rebounds and six assists. Suriya McGuire added 19 points and five steals for the Hurricanes.

Five Badgers recorded at least four rebounds and Wisconsin was narrowly edged on the boards as Miami pulled down 34 boards to UW's 30. But the Hurricanes grabbed 21 offensive rebounds to pull in 19 second-chance points.

The Badgers return home to the Kohl Center to face Marquette on Saturday. Tip time is 1 p.m.

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