UW women's basketball rolls to 70-52 win in final non-conference - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

UW women's basketball rolls to 70-52 win in final non-conference game of season

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MADISON, Wis. – Stellar ball movement, balanced scoring and solid shooting by the Wisconsin women's basketball team propelled it to a 70-52 win over Oral Roberts on Saturday night in the UW Field House. The Badgers wrap up the non-conference season with a 4-6 record.

“We feel great,” head coach Bobbie Kelsey said. “Any time we win, we aren't going to nitpick about anything. I thought we played well individually and as a team. We took them out of what they wanted to do.”

In UW's annual “Roll Back the Clock” game at the Field House, redshirt senior Cassie Rochel logged her second double-double in three games with 10 points and 11 rebounds. Five Badgers scored in double figures as freshman Cayla McMorris led the Badgers, tying her career high with 17 points. Junior Dakota Whyte chipped in 13 points and seven assists, which tied her career best. Juniors Nicole Bauman and Tessa Cichy each tallied 12 points.

“It's great and it's a work in progress because we need to be consistent,” Kelsey added about her five players in double figures. “As we play better teams, we might not have that so people need to continue to work on their shots and not hesitate (to shoot) when they're open.”

Wisconsin and ORU (5-7) were tied at 11 with 12:38 remaining in the first half, but back-to-back layups by sophomore Malayna Johnson and two straight makes for Cichy gave the Badgers a 19-11 lead with 10:50 remaining.

Oral Roberts countered with a 7-2 run to cut the Badgers' lead to three points (21-18) with 7:25 to go in the first. But the Golden Eagles would get no closer as a 9-0 run put Wisconsin up 30-18 with 4:39 left. The Badgers extended their lead to 38-25 with one minute left in the half before a layup cut UW's lead to 38-27 going into the locker room.

Wisconsin didn't let up in the second half as McMorris, Rochel and Bauman helped push UW's lead to 21 points (52-31) with 11:43 remaining. ORU tried to close the gap with a pair of threes from Atoe' Jackson and Jayden Oliver, but it wasn't enough as the Badgers went on for the win.

UW finished the game shooting 48.4 percent (30-of-62) from the floor. The Badgers converted 3-of-6 (50 percent) from 3-point range and a season-best 7-of-8 (87.5 percent) from the line.

The Golden Eagles shot just 35.7 percent (20-of-56), going 6-of-16 (37.5 percent) from beyond the arc. ORU made 6-of-9 free throws (66.7 percent).

Redshirt senior Vicky McIntyre led the way for Oral Roberts with a double-double of 14 points and 12 rebounds while also recording five blocks. The 6-7 center entered the game with a nation's best 15 rebounds and five blocks per game. Freshman Faith Ihim and Jackson each contributed 14 points.

“When you have a 6-7 player, you can't really simulate that in practice,” Kelsey said of McIntyre. “There's nothing that will prepare you other than just playing the games.”

The Badgers tallied 21 assists, while turning the ball over only 10 times. UW tallied five blocks, led by two from senior Jacki Gulczynski, logged six steals and outrebounded Oral Roberts 39-30.

“We have our best player out, but we can't make excuses,” Kelsey said of the absence of senior Michala Johnson. “We just need to keep playing and encourage those who can play that this is what you need to do and go out and do it.”

Wisconsin scored 16 points on the fast break and tallied 32 points in the paint.

The Badgers tip off Big Ten Conference action when they return to the court on Sunday, Dec. 28. Wisconsin faces Michigan in a 3 p.m. contest at the Kohl Center.

“I cannot (believe it). It's kind of scary,” Kelsey said of the Big Ten season. ”But as the games fall on the schedule, you get prepared for that game. You don't look at the ones before or after. You need to concentrate on who you're playing and what you need to do to beat them.”

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