Wisconsin drops 71-53 loss to Northwestern on Senior Day - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Wisconsin drops 71-53 loss to Northwestern on Senior Day

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MADISON, Wis.(Per UW Athletics)  – The senior pair of Michala Johnson and Nicole Bauman contributed 13 points apiece in an attempt to push the Wisconsin women’s basketball team past Northwestern, but the effort wasn’t enough as the Badgers fell, 71-53, in their last home game of the season.

“Obviously we are not very pleased with the outcome but you know it’s Senior Day,” head coach Bobbie Kelsey said.

“It's a special day for these young women in their careers and I thought they were giving it everything they had out there, we just came up short in some areas, but I’m proud of this group. Obviously we’re going to miss them and their contributions to our program.”

Wisconsin (7-19, 3-13 Big Ten) battled the Wildcats (15-13, 4-12 Big Ten) to a six-point game heading into halftime, as the Badgers trailed, 33-27 after early back-and-forth play.

Following two quick layups from Northwestern in the first quarter, Johnson put the Badgers on the board with a layup of her own to bring the score to 4-2 with 8:07 left to play in the opening period.

NU fought back, but Wisconsin senior Tessa Cichy didn’t back down, as she put up her first two points to bring the score within two once again (6-4) with 6:29 remaining.

The Wildcats pushed forward with a 4-0 run to lead the Badgers by six points (10-4) with just over five minutes left in the quarter, but a tough layup through traffic from Avyanna Young closed the gap to just four points (10-6) with 4:44 on the clock.

Northwestern extended the lead to six once again (18-12) with a layup, but the senior pair of Rosanna Gambino and Bauman made back-to-back baskets to come within two points of the Wildcats (12-10) with three minutes to play.

A 6-2 Wildcat run increased the lead to six points once again, but Johnson came in with just six seconds left on the clock to put the layup in for two and leave the Badgers trailing only by four (18-14) heading into the second quarter.

Young started off the second quarter for the Badgers with a pullback jumper, bringing UW within two points (18-16) with 8:56 remaining in the half.

The Wildcats came back with an 8-2 run to pull away from Wisconsin by an 8-point margin (26-18), but Johnson came in clutch once again with a 5-0 run of her own to bring the game within five points (28-23) with 3:10 left to play.

Northwestern extended its lead to eight once again (31-23) with a little over two minutes in the half, but a pair of baskets from Roichelle Marble and Bauman brought the Badgers within six points (33-27) to end the half.

NU outscored Wisconsin 19-11 in the third quarter, increasing the gap to 14 points (52-38) as the pair closed out the third period. The Badgers continued to fight in the fourth quarter, but were outscored 19-15, as the Wildcats ended the game with an 18-point margin over UW.

“Basketball is about making shots and you got to have more than one or two people doing that because you want the defense to guard everybody, not just two people or three people,” Kelsey said.

“When you have a couple (players) struggling and our depth is not where we want it to be obviously with a lot of injuries, it puts a lot of pressure on these guys and they’re doing as good a job as they can do being face-guarded and doubled and all the things that these two experience.”

Bauman and Johnson were the only Badgers in double figures as seniors Dakota Whyte and Tessa Cichy contributed eight and seven points, respectively.

Johnson led the Badgers in rebounds with nine while Young pulled down six and Whyte grabbed five boards. Northwestern outrebounded Wisconsin 39-30 as two players pulled down double-figure boards. The Wildcats had 13 offensive boards, scoring 21 second-chance points.

UW shot 36.8 percent (21-of-57) from the field, including 25 percent (2-of-8) from 3-point range. Northwestern hit 46.6 percent (27-of-58) of its shots but just 23.1 percent (3-of-13) from deep.

The Wildcats also scored well from the free-throw line, hitting 87.5 percent (14-of-16) while Wisconsin shot 69.2 percent (9-of-13) from the line.  

The Badgers hit the road for the final two regular season games beginning on Thursday at Maryland for a 5:30 p.m. (CT) game.

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