Badgers get "I-94 sweep," women's basketball also defeats Marque - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Badgers get "I-94 sweep," women's basketball also defeats Marquette

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MADISON, Wis. – Like the Wisconsin men's basketball team, the women's basketball team also defeated Marquette on Saturday. The Badgers (2-5) downed the Golden Eagles, 89-64, on Saturday afternoon in the Kohl Center.

Four UW players scored in double figures led by a career-high tying 18 points from junior Dakota Whyte. Freshman Cayla McMorris added a career-high 17 points while senior Jacki Gulczynski also contributed 17 points. Junior Nicole Bauman put up 16 points.

An upbeat tempo on offense and effective defensive play helped the Badgers to their largest margin of victory this season as UW put up a season-high 89 points. Wisconsin shot better than 50 percent for its second straight game, hitting 53.2 percent (33-of-62) from the field. UW hit a season best 64.3 percent (9-of-14) from 3-point range.

“We had four people in double figures, probably could have been more than that, and we rebounded the ball very well,” Wisconsin head coach Bobbie Kelsey said. “They're division one basketball players, power-five conference players, and when we do what we're supposed to do, we are a good team.”

Wisconsin also had its second-highest number of rebounds this season with 42 boards. Fifth-year senior Cassie Rochel led the Badgers with nine rebounds and an impressive five blocks after sitting out the last game against Miami. Both numbers marked season highs for her.

Wisconsin's 13 blocks marked a new season best and more than tripled UW's average blocks per game. The record also ties four fourth all-time for the program. Senior Jacki Gulczynski added a season-high three blocks.

UW held Marquette (2-6) to the third-fewest points by an opponent this season. The Golden Eagles shot just 30.8 percent (20-of-65) from the field, including just 18.2 percent (2-of-11) from 3-point range. Marquette was led by Apiew Ojulu with 13 points as MU also won the free throw battle, shooting 22-of-23 (95.7 percent) from the charity stripe.

The day continued with the Badgers dishing out a season-high 22 assists behind Whyte, who passed out a career-high seven dimes.

The Badgers, who have been plagued by a high number of turnovers in their last five games, only turned the ball over nine times, their second lowest amount this season.

Rochel made her return with a monster block to give Gulczynski the rebound, which led to Whyte scoring the first points of the game at 17:39. Whyte accounted for six of the team's first eight points after her jumper at 15:36 put the Badgers up 8-6.

“These last few games, I just haven't really been myself by focusing so much on scoring, scoring, scoring,” Rochel said. “Today I went out there and focused on what I'm good at, which is defense, and just letting the offense come. It's there, but you can't force it and it's great to see all these people in double-figures scoring, and it's good to see everyone stepping up.”

Gulczynski knocked down a 3-pointer to start the Badgers on a 7-2 run to extend the Badgers lead to 15-10 with 11:55 in the half. The 3,412 fans in the Kohl Center erupted as Whyte drained a 3-pointer right as the shot clock ran out at 9:15 giving the Badgers a 20-15 lead.

Back-to-back 3-pointers from Whyte and Gulczynski gave the Badgers their largest lead of the half (24-15) with 8:07 remaining. Marquette's Tia Elbert followed with a jumper but a smooth reverse layup from junior Tessa Cichy at 7:45 brought the lead back up (26-17), capping a 9-2 run.

The Golden Eagles didn't go down without a fight, going on a 6-0 run to cut the Badgers lead to two (28-26) with 4:36 left in the half.

Bauman closed out the first half by sinking a jumper in the lane with 26 seconds left and pushing the Badger lead to 37-34 at the half.

Wisconsin opened the second half on a 10-2 run, behind four points apiece from Whyte and Rochel, putting the Badgers up 47-36 with 16:14 remaining. Gulczynski's layup at 14:48 lengthened the Badgers advantage 51-38 with 14:48 to play and also resulted in the Golden Eagles' leading scorer Arlesia Morse getting injured on the play and not returning for the remainder of the contest.

UW extended its lead to 25 points (74-49) with 5:56 left to go as Marquette never threatened.

Wisconsin will be back in action at the University of Florida on Wednesday, Dec. 10 at 6 p.m.

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