Badgers battle back, but falls to No. 18 Ohio State - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Badgers battle back, but falls to No. 18 Ohio State

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Despite holding No. 18 Ohio State to nearly 19 points below its season average, the Wisconsin women's basketball fell to the Buckeyes, 68-55, on Saturday afternoon at the Kohl Center.

Trailing 35-28 at the half, the Badgers (9-16, 2-10 B1G) began the third quarter on an 8-0 run to lead 36-35 with 6:59 on the clock off a Marsha Howard jumper. It was the first Wisconsin lead since 8:42 in the first quarter (3-2), overcoming a 16-point OSU lead in the first quarter. The Buckeyes (19-5, 8-3) lead 22-6 with 1:54 left in the first period.

After the Badgers grabbed the one-point lead, Wisconsin turned the ball over the next four possessions, allowing the Buckeyes to go on a 9-4 run to end the third with a 44-38 lead.

Wisconsin scored the first basket of the fourth quarter to trail 44-40 with just over nine minutes to play before Ohio State rallied. OSU found new life in the period, outscoring the Badgers 9-1 to lead 53-41 with 7:31 remaining. The Badgers cut the lead to eight (58-50) with 4:22 on the clock but a 6-0 Ohio State put the game out of reach.

Junior Marsha Howard led the Badgers with 20 points while senior Cayla McMorris recorded her fifth career double-double with 15 points and 13 rebounds. McMorris became the 25th Badger to record 1,000 career points early in the third quarter, scoring a running lay-in that made the score 35-32 in favor of Ohio State.

UW shot 37.3 percent (22-59) for the game, while Ohio State shot 40.6 percent (26-64). Neither team shot well from 3-point range with Wisconsin hitting just 3-11 (27.3 percent) while the Buckeyes were 4-18 (22.2 percent). OSU went to the line 17 times, making 12 for 70.6 percent while the Badgers shot 66.7 percent (8-12).

Wisconsin out-rebounded Ohio State, 43-37, but struggled with its ball control, turning the ball over 17 times to the Buckeyes nine. OSU tallied 14 steals in the game.

In a televised matchup against the No. 3 scoring offense in the country, Wisconsin was down 22-9 at the end of the first quarter and shooting only 21.4 percent from the field. The Badgers rallied in the second quarter, outscoring the Buckeyes 19-13 to trail 35-28 at the break.

Wisconsin has a bye week and will not compete for another eight days. UW travels to Lincoln, Nebraska, on Feb. 11 against the Cornhuskers at 2 p.m., from Pinnacle Bank Arena.

--Wisconsin Athletic Communications

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