Badger women fall at Michigan State 77-71 - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Badger women fall at Michigan State 77-71

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 EAST LANSING, Mich.  -- Despite a career-high 23 points from junior Nicole Bauman and a career-high 15 points from Tessa Cichy, the Wisconsin women's basketball team dropped a 77-71 decision at Michigan State on Sunday afternoon.

The Badgers fall to 7-11 overall, 3-6 in Big Ten Conference play.

Michigan State (10-10, 2-7) used a 20-7 run in the middle of the second half to pull away. The stretch including a 9-0 Spartan run to give the home team its largest lead of the game at 62-48 with 9:13 remaining.

"We let a couple of their kids who don't usually score get some decent looks at the basket and that kind of killed us," head coach Bobbie Kelsey said. "Then we came down and had some crucial missteps and misreads on some of our plays. It was a good effort. We needed some more block scoring, more inside-out. Everything was on the guards and that's just hard. 

Bauman shared game-high honors with a career-high 23 points, tying her career high with five 3-point makes. Cichy added a career-best 15 points while junior Dakota Whyte also scored in double-figures, putting up 13 points.

"Nicole did great," Kelsey said. "We had some people with some moments. We're hurting because we don't have an inside game. We just need more of that."

The Badgers shot 42.2 percent (27-of-64) from the field, including 9-of-18 from 3-point range. The Spartans hit 41.4 percent (29-of-70) from the field but just 20 percent (4-of-20) from behind the arc.

"That's the average," said Kelsey of UW's shooting. "You can't play one end of the floor, you have to play both ends of the floors. And if you don't play defense and take care of their favorite moves and what they like to do, then you're going to lose."

Free throws made a difference in the game as MSU shot 88.2 percent (15-of-17) while UW went 8-of-10 (80 percent) from the line.

"Their O boards and going to the free throw line," Kelsey said when asked what made a difference in the game. "(Offensive rebounds) prolongs the possession and they got to the free throw line quite a bit."

The Spartans finished with four players in double figures, including 23 points and 18 rebounds from Aerial Powers.

Wisconsin was outrebounded by the Spartans 49-31, including 17 offensive rebounds for MSU. Fifth-year senior Cassie Rochel led UW with nine boards.

The Badgers dished off 13 assists, including a team-high four from Bauman, while recording 14 turnovers. Wisconsin had 11 steals, including a career-high five from Whyte, as the Spartans has 16 turnovers.

Michigan State jumped out to a 6-0 lead before a jumper by Whyte got UW on the board with 17:46 to play in the half. A 3-pointer by Bauman with 10:12 on the clock tied the score at 15. The game was tied three more times in the first half, including at 31-all with 1:24 remaining. Powers scored a layup with 28 seconds to play before Bauman hit another 3-pointer with one second on the clock to give the Badgers a 34-33 halftime lead.

The two teams traded leads for the first three minutes of the second half. Wisconsin led 41-40 with 17:19 to go before the Spartans went on their 20-7 run to take a 62-48 lead with 10:01 on the clock. The Badgers came back with an 8-0 run behind five points from Rochel to cut the lead to 62-56 with 7:12 remaining. That was as close as UW would get as Michigan State went 8-of-9 from the free throw line over the last five minutes to seal the win.

"It's disappointing for the kids because they do work hard and they're trying to what we ask them," Kelsey said. "When you can't sub and you don't have a lot of bodies, it puts a lot of pressure on the guards to play a perfect game."

Wisconsin returns home on Thursday to host Ohio State at 8 p.m. live on the Big Ten Network from the Kohl Center.
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