Badgers late rally comes up short against Gophers - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Badgers late rally comes up short against Gophers

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MADISON, Wis.(UW Athletics) – Despite outscoring Minnesota 29-16 in the fourth quarter, the Wisconsin women’s basketball team fell to the Golden Gophers 84-77 in a Border Battle contest on Saturday afternoon at the Kohl Center. 

The Badgers (6-12, 2-6 Big Ten) were prepared for battle, even though their only lead was early in the game on a 3-pointer by senior Nicole Bauman. Wisconsin fought to make a comeback throughout the game, diminishing what was a 23-point lead in the third quarter to only seven points at the end of the game. 

At halftime, Minnesota led Wisconsin by 12 points, 42-30, due to the Badgers’ poor shooting. UW shot only 25.7 percent (9-of-35) from the field, including 37.5 percent (3-of-8) from the 3-point range while the Gophers hit 42.9 percent (18-of-42) for the first half.

The Gophers (13-6, 5-3) extended their lead in the third quarter, earning them their largest lead of the game at 23 points (64-41) with 2:22 remaining. Minnesota also led by 23 (66-43) with 1:40 remaining but a 3-pointer from Bauman and a Tessa Cichy jumper cut it to 68-48 at the end of the period. 

Bauman and fellow senior Dakota Whyte keyed the UW comeback in the fourth quarter.

The Badgers started the fourth quarter strong with a 3-pointer from Cayla McMorris followed by a jump shot from Whyte to cut Minnesota’s lead to 15 (68-53). After two free throws by Minnesota’s Rachel Banham, Bauman scored back-to-back 3-pointers making it an 11-point difference, 70-59, with 6:50 to play.

A 3-pointer from redshirt freshman Roichelle Marble at 5:49 cut the lead to eight, 72-64, but Minnesota hit two straight jumpers to go up 77-64 with 4:47 remaining. A 6-0 Badger run made it a seven-point game (77-70) with 3:02 on the clock but the Gophers went 5-of-6 from the free-throw line over the next minute and a half to take a 82-74 lead with 1:16 left.

Bauman hit a jumper with a little over a minute left to make it 84-74 but Minnesota controlled the ball over the last minute as Bauman added a late triple with 10 seconds left for the final score.  

Bauman scored 11 points in the fourth period, hitting 3-of-3 from 3-point range. She finished with a game and season-high 25 points, shooting 9-of-13 (69.2 percent) from the field and 7-of-8 (87.5 percent) from 3-point range. It was her fourth game this season and second straight game with 20-plus points. 

Whyte hit 4-of-5 from the field in the fourth quarter, scoring eight of her 11 points in the game in the final period. Senior Michala Johnson added 11 points for the Badgers. 

Wisconsin struggled to contain Minnesota’s Rachel Banham and sophomore Carlie Wagner. The fifth-year senior scored nine points in the fourth quarter, including the first seven points for the Golden Gophers. Banham and sophomore Wagner led Minnesota with 20 points apiece. 

In the end, the game came down to shooting. The Gophers hit 42.9 percent (33-of-77) from the field, including 6-of-22 (27.3 percent) from 3-point range. The Badgers hit 38.9 percent (28-of-72) from the field, including 10-of-23 (43.5 percent) from deep. 

Minnesota shot 75 percent (12-of-16) from the free-throw line while the Badgers hit 68.8 percent (11-of-16) as both teams were called for 17 fouls. 

Wisconsin was outrebounded 47-42, led by Avyanna Young’s season-high of 13 boards. UW recorded a season high 22 offensive rebounds, with Young leading the way with eight. 

The Badgers dished off 12 assists, behind four from Bauman, while turning the ball over 15 times, a Big Ten season high for Wisconsin. UW outblocked Minnesota 6-1 with Bauman tying her career high with three. 

Wisconsin continues Big Ten play by traveling to Lincoln, Nebraska, to take on the Cornhuskers at 7 p.m. on Wednesday. 

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