Wisconsin women fall at home to No. 18 Michigan State, 77-54 - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Wisconsin women fall at home to No. 18 Michigan State, 77-54

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MADISON, Wis. — Rebounds and a strong second quarter by No. 18 Michigan State halted the Wisconsin women's basketball team as the Badgers fell to the Spartans 77-54 on Sunday afternoon in the Kohl Center. UW drew a season-high 9,436 fans in its annual Think Pink game.

MSU (16-4, 7-2 Big Ten) outrebounded Wisconsin 46-20 for the game and outscored the Badgers 26-12 in the second quarter as UW (6-14, 2-8) dropped its sixth straight game.

"Obviously we took another one on the chin here against a great Michigan State team," head coach Bobbie Kelsey said. "They're a very talented team, there's a lot of offensive firepower on their side. We did some good things in the game, we had some spots where we were executing and getting shots we wanted. I think the biggest thing is that we lacked on the rebounding and they got ahold of some balls that we should've probably gotten."

Wisconsin trailed by just two points after the first quarter (19-17), but a 10-0 run put the Spartans up 29-17 with 8:21 to play in the second period. A 3-pointer by Nicole Bauman ended the run and the senior added another triple just 30 seconds later to pull the Badgers within eight (31-23) with 7:31 on the clock. Bauman scored all 12 points for UW in the quarter, completing an and-one with 5:33 left to play to make it a nine-point game (35-26). MSU outscored the Badgers 10-3 over the last five minutes of the period to lead 45-29 at the half.

"I just think that they asserted themselves and kind of got some looks at the basket," Kelsey said of the Spartans in the second quarter. "We may have had a defensive breakdown here and there, but I thought we had some good looks. The difference is you just have to make those little shots right around the basket."

The Spartans opened the third quarter on a 3-0 run to take a 48-29 lead with 9:40 to play. Wisconsin cut the lead to nine twice in the period, including at 55-46 with 1:15 remaining, but MSU scored four straight to take a 59-46 lead after three quarters.

UW would cut the lead to 13 (61-48) less than two minutes into the fourth quarter but the Badgers shot just 14.3 percent (2-of-14) and were outrebounded 15-7 in the final stanza as they would get no closer.

The Spartans stymied the Badgers with their tough defense, allowing Wisconsin to shoot just 33.9 percent (19-of-56) from the field. Michigan State shot 49.2 percent (29-of-59) and made 17-of-18 (94.4 percent) from the free-throw line. UW was 10-of-16 (62.5 percent) from the charity stripe but outshot MSU from 3-point range, hitting 42.9 percent (6-of-14) compared to 28.6 percent (2-of-7) for Michigan State.

"I'm not sure why," Dakota Whyte said of the Badgers' poor shooting. "I think we got good looks but we just have to finish. There's nothing really more that I can say. The ball has to go in the basket."

Bauman led Wisconsin with 19 points and Whyte added 16 points as the only two UW players in double figures. Michigan State had four players in double figures behind a game-high and season-high 30 points from Aerial Powers. Tori Jankoska earned a double-double with a game-high 11 rebounds while adding 12 points.

The Badgers were led by Michala Johnson and Avyanna Young with six rebounds apiece. Johnson tied her career high with three steals as Wisconsin had six steals, forcing 16 Spartans turnovers. UW had 14 turnovers while dishing off 10 assists, including four from Bauman.

Wisconsin travels to No. 7 Ohio State on Thursday for a 6 p.m. tip from Value City Arena in Columbus, Ohio.

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