College Basketball: Wisconsin Falls 88-60 at Minnesota - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

College Basketball: Wisconsin Falls 88-60 at Minnesota

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The Wisconsin women’s basketball team couldn’t overcome a 31-15 deficit after the first quarter, falling at Minnesota 88-60 on Saturday night at Williams Arena.

“You can’t put yourself, especially on the road when you know you’re going to have that kind of adversity when teams are going to shoot it better and their kids are going to naturally hunt their shots, and we just put ourselves in that hole,” head coach Jonathan Tsipis said.

“Obviously they shot the ball from the 3-point line really well. (Kenisha) Bell got to wherever she wanted to on the court and I thought we were just reactive on both ends of the court in the first quarter.”

The Golden Gophers (10-7 overall, 1-3 Big Ten) used a 10-0 run over two-and-half minutes in the middle of the first period to stretch their 12-9 lead to 22-9 with 3:30 left on the clock. A 3-pointer by Suzanne Gilreath stopped the run, making it a 10-point game (22-12) with 3:13 remaining. Minnesota finished out the quarter on a 9-3 run to up its lead to 31-15 after one period.

“We didn’t execute on man or zone (defense) the way that we’re capable of,” added Tsipis. “We took a lot of first-pass jumpers, we took a lot of shots off no passes once our point guards got to places and that leads to easier ways to get out in transition. You see they beat us on the glass, we turned it over and all those things are recipe for disaster.”

UM extended its lead to 50-27 at the half as Wisconsin (5-11, 0-3) would get no closer than 21 points the remainder of the game.

“We talked about it at halftime and said let’s figure this out together,” Tsipis said.  “I thought we had good fight in the first four or five minutes (of the third quarter) but then it started to become a little bit like what got us in the problems in the first half. We’re not good enough to rely on one or two key players, it has to be a team effort.

“I thought in the second half that we had some good inside-out action and that we had better balance. We were able to hit some people off ball screens, we were able to post feed and cut off action. We were able to skip the ball and make the defense get at a disadvantage.”

The Gophers shot 48.6 percent (17-35) from the field in the first half, including 46.2 percent (6-13) from 3-point range. UM finished the game at 45.1 percent (32-71) while Wisconsin shot 32.4 percent (22-68).

Minnesota hit 9-22 (40.9 percent) from 3-point range while the Badgers hit 7-24 (29.2 percent).

“The biggest thing defensively is we can’t allow people to get comfortable and there’s no question from the very start of the game, Minnesota was very comfortable,” Tsipis explained.

While the Golden Gophers were called for more fouls (20-19), Minnesota finished 15-17 (88.2 percent) from the free-throw line while UW went 9-16 for 56.2 percent.

Gilreath was the only Badger to finish in double digits, scoring 14 points. Freshman Courtney Fredrickson added eight points as 11 UW players scored.

Four Minnesota players hit double figures behind 24 points from Carlie Wagner. The Gophers dished off 23 assists while Wisconsin had 13 dimes.

The Gophers edged the Badgers in rebounds 47-42 as UW was led by sophomore Marsha Howard with eight boards.

Minnesota scored 18 points off 19 Badger turnovers and 22 points off 16 offensive rebounds. Wisconsin scored eight points off 13 UM giveaways and 14 points off 17 offensive boards. The Badger bench finished with a 34-19 edge.

Wisconsin returns home on Wednesday for a 7 p.m. game against Purdue in the Kohl Center.

(UW Athletics contributed information to this article.)

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