MADISON, Wis. - It went down to the wire Thursday night as the Wisconsin women’s basketball team suffered a heartbreaking, 75-69, loss to No. 15 Nebraska at the Kohl Center Thursday night. Leading 66-65 with 4:03 to play, the Badgers were outscored 10-3 in the final four minutes.
Nebraska (15-1 overall, 4-0 Big Ten) tied the game and took the lead for good when Lindsey Moore hit a pair of free throws with 2:56 remaining. It was the 11th and final lead change of the game as Wisconsin (5-12 overall, 1-4 Big Ten) was unable to overcome a strong Husker offense.
"It was a hard fought, hard losing effort here,” head coach Bobbie Kelsey remarked. “We gave a lot of good effort in the game, but just came up a little bit short. I'm proud of the kids and their effort, but my expectations are high and I don't like to settle for moral victories.”
The Badgers came within two points several times late in the game, including at 71-69 with 59 seconds to play. Following two missed field goals by the Huskers, Wisconsin brought the ball up but turned it over with 18 seconds remaining. UW was forced to foul, sending Nebraska to the line where it made all four of its charity shots for the final score.
Moore finished with a game-high 28 points, including six in the last four minutes, while Rebecca Woodberry added 14 points for Nebraska. Wisconsin’s tough defense held Nebraska’s leading scorer, Jordan Hooper, to a season-low 10 points, less than half of her 20.9 season average.
"I don't know if they were frustrated, but we definitely weren't going to let (Jordan Hooper) stand out there and get 40 points,” Kelsey commented.
Four Wisconsin players scored in double digits as Taylor Wurtz scored 20-or-more points for the third time this season and for the fourth time in her career. Fifteen of Wurtz’s points came in the first half, as the Badgers shot 14-of-26 (53.8 percent) in the game’s first stanza.
Anya Covington led the Badgers with 11 rebounds and netted 14 points to record her second double double of the season and the fifth of her career. Morgan Paige also scored 14 points, while Jade Davis netted a season-high 13 tallies.
Wisconsin outrebounded its third straight opponent, pulling down 36 boards to Nebraska’s 32. It was only the third time this season that the Huskers have been outrebounded.
The Badgers finished the game 25-of-46 (44.6 percent), including 9-of-17 (52.9 percent) from 3-point range. Wisconsin was 10-of-12 (83.3 percent) from the charity stripe, including perfect performances by Ashley Thomas (2-of-2), Davis (2-of-2), Wurtz (2-of-2) and Lindsay Smith (2-of-2).
Nebraska shot 29-of-63 (46.0 percent) from the field, going 5-of-19 (26.3 percent) beyond the arc. The Huskers were 12-of-16 (75 percent) from the free throw line.
Wisconsin takes the weekend off before resuming Big Ten play on the road at Iowa on Jan. 19. Tip-off is at 7 p.m. in Iowa City.