MADISON, Wis. – After suffering a double overtime loss at Ohio State on Thursday, the Wisconsin women’s basketball team needed a win. And it got one today with a 65-52 win over Indiana on Sunday afternoon in the Kohl Center on Sunday afternoon.
“… I expected them to come out ready to play," said head coach Bobbie Kelsey. “We dealt with (the Ohio State loss), we looked at it. We just had to wipe that away and not dwell on it. You just have to move on. The next game has got to be played, and you want to win it. You can’t sulk about what happened before.”
Seven Badgers scored, led by a game-high 17 points from Morgan Paige, with three players in double figures. Jacki Gulczynski added 15 points while Cassie Rochel picked up her fourth career double-double with 12 points and a career-high 15 rebounds.
"I’m pleased with the win today,” said Kelsey. "Obviously, we needed it pretty badly. The young ladies stepped up and did a nice job of coming out ready to play."
The score was back and forth for the first 10 minutes of the game, including a tie at 19 with 10:40 to play, before the Badgers (11-13 overall, 3-8 Big Ten) busted out an 11-0 run. A 3 pointer by Nicole Bauman sparked the run, putting Wisconsin up 31-24 with 5:59 left in the half. Dakota Whyte, Rochel and Gulcyznksi all contributed in the four-minute scoring stretch.
The Badgers tied a season-high, scoring 44 points in the first half, including 12 points off Indiana's turnovers. Wisconsin shot 52.8 percent (19-of-36) from the field, 60 percent (6-of-10) from the three-point line, taking a 44-30 lead after the first 20 minutes.
The offense kept rolling out of the locker room, starting the second half with a 4-0 run with a pair of layups from Tiera Stephen and Rochel to put Wisconsin up 48-30. Rochel scored another bucket in the paint, giving the Badgers their largest lead of the game at 50-32.
Indiana (10-14 overall, 1-10 Big Ten) switched to a 2-3 zone three minutes into the second half, which stunted the Badger offense. The Hoosiers used to defense to turn up their offense, going on an 8-0 run, holding the Badgers scoreless for just over four minutes and cutting the Wisconsin lead to 57-47 with 9:07 to play
Bauman stopped the Indiana run with a layup at 8:03 on the clock, with the assist coming from Rochel, to put the score at 59-47. Rochel tied a career-best with five assists in the game as the Badgers handed off 16 dimes while turning the ball over only 12 times.
“Having 16 assists is nice," said Kelsey. "That means a lot of different people are scoring. When we do share the ball, we look really good. It gets a lot of different people involved, and that’s what you want. You don’t want one person dominating the ball.”
While the Badgers scored only six points the remainder of the game, Indiana could not make a run as the win gave Wisconsin its third Big Ten victory.
UW shot just 30.8 percent (8-of-26) for the second half of play to finish the game at 43.5 percent (27-of-62). The Badgers were also 0-of-11 from 3-point range in the second period to hit 28.6 percent for the contest.
Indiana shot 40.4 percent (23-of-57) from the field, including 50 percent (7-of-14) from deep.
Neither team took a free throw until the second half with the Badgers finishing the game 5-of-7 (71.4 percent) from the line while IU was 0-of-2 from the charity stripe.
Wisconsin out-rebounded the Hoosiers 38-32, including 13 offensive boards, and out-scored them in the paint 30-20. UW also scored 16 second-chance points. The Badgers also set a season-best nine blocked shots, with Rochel denying four shots and Gulczynski recording a career-high five blocks.
Wisconsin hosts Purdue on Thursday, Feb. 14 at 7 p.m. at the Kohl Center for their only matchup of the season.