WBB: Spartans hand Badgers fourth-consecutive Big Ten loss

Posted-February 16th, 2012 10:45 pm

MADISON, Wis. -- The Wisconsin women’s basketball team struggled on both ends of the court, shooting just 38.5 percent (20-of-52) and getting outrebounded, 38-21, in a 62-46 loss to Michigan State Thursday night at the Kohl Center.

Wisconsin (8-17, 4-9) shot just 38.5 percent (20-of-52) from the field, including just 2-of-10 (20 percent) from beyond the arc. The Badgers’ shooting struggles continued at the free throw line, as they made 4-of-10 (40 percent) from the stripe.

Senior Anya Covington was the only Badger in double figures with 10 points while the Spartans (16-10, 8-5) had three players in double digits, led by Lykendra Johnson with 16. Johnson shot an impressive 72.7 percent (8-of-11) from the field as Michigan State hit 52.9 percent (27-of-51) as a team from the floor. The Spartans went just 3-of-10 (30 percent) from 3-point range and also struggled at the charity stripe, shooting 50 percent (5-of-10) from the free throw line.

Junior Taylor Wurtz and freshman Lacia Gorman each chipped in nine points for the UW, a career high for the newcomer. Wurtz led the Badgers with six boards while freshman Lindsay Smith had five rebounds.

The Spartans won the battle on the boards, outrebounding the Badgers, 38-21, led by seven from Johnson. MSU scored 40 points in the paint, including 11 off second-chance buckets.

Michigan State dished off 20 assists while turning the ball over 15 times while the Badgers had just eight assists but won the turnover battle with 12 giveaways.

Wisconsin opened the game with a quick basket, but it was all Michigan State after that. The Spartans quickly tied the game at two before taking the lead for good at the 17:20 mark on a jumper by Johnson.

A layup by Ashley Thomas got the Badgers within one, 9-8, at 15:27, but that was as close as UW would get. A layup by MSU’s Courtney Schiffauer with 3:03 remaining gave the Spartans their largest lead of the half, 31-18, while a pair of baskets by Gorman closed out the first half of play 31-22 in favor of Michigan State.

Wisconsin’s scoring woes continued into the second half of play, as Michigan State opened up the half with an 8-0 run to jump out to a 39-22 lead at 16:21. UW didn’t score in the second half until Tiera Stephen hit a jumper with 14:14 to play, making the score 39-24. The Spartans took their largest lead of the game, 52-32, with 5:42 remaining on a jumper by Klarissa Bell.

UW continues Big Ten play on Sunday, Feb. 19, when it travels to Lincoln, Neb., to take on the No. 16-ranked Cornhuskers at 1 p.m. The game will be televised live on the Big Ten Network.

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