Badger women fall 72-60 in first Border Battle of season - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Badger women fall 72-60 in first Border Battle of season

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MADISON, Wis. – For the second straight game, the Wisconsin women's basketball team struggled with its shooting, falling to Minnesota 72-60 on Sunday afternoon in the Kohl Center.

“Tough one today,” head coach Bobbie Kelsey said. “We obviously didn't hit enough shots in the game. (Minnesota) hit some nice threes, even when we were right up on them. They got loose a couple of times, but that's the problem with playing a team that can shoot and has a big girl on the inside.

“… but I'm proud of our kids… they fought. Nicole (Bauman) had a good game, I thought Malayna (Johnson) helped us a lot. We just needed a couple more people to get going and that didn't happen for us.”

The Badgers recorded their second-highest field goal attempts of the season with 64, but could only convert 37.5 percent on 24-of-64 shooting. Minnesota tallied the second-highest shooting percentage from a UW opponent this season, making 31-of-64 (48.4 percent).

Bauman was the only Badger player to score in double figures, putting up 14 points, including 10 in the second half. Three other UW players contributed nine points apiece, including Johnson, who scored a career best, and added a career and game-high four blocks. Jacki Gulczynski and Cayla McMorris each also chipped in nine points.

Minnesota had a balanced scoring effort with four players tallying double figures, including a double-double of 11 points and 12 rebounds from sophomore Amanda Zahui B.

The Gophers scored well from deep, hitting 9-of-19 (47.4 percent) from 3-point range, while UW only converted 33.3 percent (5-of-15) from beyond the arc.

Minnesota pushed the pace from the start, jumping out to an 11-2 lead with 16:38 to play in the first. Back-to-back makes from AnnMarie Brown put the Badgers down seven points, 13-6, with 15:40 to play. After a Minnesota make by Shae Kelly, UW was able to cut the lead to seven again (15-8) thanks to a jumper from Johnson at the 12:39 mark. But hot shooting from Minnesota put the Gophers up 22-8 with 10:45 to play.

Trailing 31-16 with seven minutes to play in the half, a 3-pointer from McMorris at the 6:44 mark sparked a 12-3 run by the Badgers, pulling UW within six, 34-28, with 3:04 to left in the first half. The Gophers sank two 3-pointers with under 3:30 to play to take a 40-30 lead into the locker room.

In the second half, Minnesota jumped out to a 16-point lead (49-33) with 15:34 to play. But back-to-back baskets in the post from Johnson helped pull the Badgers within nine (49-40) with 12:53 remaining.

A jumper from Gulczynski pulled UW back within nine points with 12:28 to play, but a nearly six-minute scoring drought from the field allowed Minnesota to take a 20-point lead, 66-46, with 6:47 remaining.

Wisconsin used tough defense and solid shooting to climb back within 11 points, 68-57, with 1:26 remaining, but it wasn't enough as the Gophers went on to hand the Badgers their second straight loss.

Free throw shooting was a bright spot for UW, as the Badgers tied a season-best free throw percentage of 87.5 percent (7-for-8), while Minnesota only made 1-of-8 for 12.5 percent.

Wisconsin edged Minnesota in rebounds 38-36 and outblocked the Gophers 7-3. Gulczynski had a team-high eight boards while Bauman pulled down six.

Both teams dished out 16 assists with UW being led by a career-high six from Gulczynski. Bauman also had six dimes.

The Badgers recorded 14 turnovers, allowing Minnesota to score 12 points off UW giveaways, while Minnesota committed 11 turnovers.

Wisconsin is back in action at the Kohl Center on Tuesday, when it faces Penn State. Tip-off is set for 8 p.m.

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