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Border Battled: Badgers' late rally falls short against Gophers


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Minnesota Minnesota 63, Wisconsin 50
Kohl Center • Madison, Wis. • Attendance: 3,659

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Wisconsin

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1st 2nd Final
  Minnesota
25 38 63
 Wisconsin
16 34 50
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• Notes  |  Quotes  |  Live Gameday Blog
 Statistical Leaders
 • Taylor Wurtz: 15 Pts, 9 Reb, 2 Ast, 1 Stl, 6-11 FG
 • Jacki Gulczynski: 8 Pts, 3 Reb, 2 Stl, 3-11 FG
 • Dakota Whyte: 8 Pts, 2 Reb, 2 Ast, 1 Stl, 4-10 FG
 Stats at a Glance
MINN WIS
 FG Percentage .490 .333
 3-Point FG Percentage .400 .286
 FT Percentage .917 .667
 Offensive Rebounds 6 9
 Defensive Rebounds 32 20
 Total Rebounds 38 29
 Turnovers 16 15
 Assists 14 14
 Steals 9 6
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Feb. 12, 2014

MADISON, Wis. -- The Wisconsin women’s basketball team couldn’t recover from poor shooting in the first half and suffered a 63-50 loss to Minnesota at the Kohl Center Wednesday night.

“We are obviously disappointed in our play. We didn’t shoot very well in the first half, which was not for lack of being open,” said UW head coach Bobbie Kelsey. “We just didn’t knock them down. But the kids persevered. They really tried to run our offenses and get us in a position where we could hit our shots. And (Minnesota) did a nice job.”

 Fast Facts
Taylor Wurtz leads Badgers with 15 points, nine rebounds
• UW shoots 33.3 percent (20-of-60), tying for its second-lowest shooting percentage of the season
• Wisconsin battles No. 11 Penn State when it travels to University Park, Pa., on Sunday

After leading 3-2 with 16:53 left in the first half, the Badgers (10-14 overall, 3-9 Big Ten) could never regain the lead and scored just five points in the first 13 minutes of play. At the half, the Gophers led 25-16, tying for eighth on the UW single-game record list for fewest points in a half.

“It doesn’t sit well, I know that. It doesn’t sit well with me. Again, we had open looks,” said Kelsey. “That’s what you run the offense to get – open shots. I can see several of them in my head right now. We missed some layups, we missed some open threes. The shots are there. We’ve just got to knock them down.”

But the Badgers battled back in the second half. After trailing by a game-high 13 points with 11:40 left to play in the second, Wisconsin used an 11-2 run to cut the deficit to four points. Dakota Whyte hit a jumper to cut Minnesota’s lead to 43-39 with 8:25 remaining.

“We went into a low 2-2-1 press, kind of slowed down for a bit,” said Kelsey. “They got a layup before then, so we were trying to just slow them down. Then they missed a couple of shots. We went into that zone and messed them up a little bit.”

However, the Gophers countered with a 10-2 run of their own, which put them up 53-41 with 5:04 left in regulation. A 3-pointer by Nicole Bauman pulled the Badgers within seven (53-46) with 3:04 to go, but Minnesota’s Rachel Banahm responded with a jumper to put Minnesota up 55-46 with 2:01 remaining.

“I thought that was a nice run on our part. We just couldn’t sustain it when they made another… It goes back and forth, but sometimes the run for the other team lasts a little bit longer than you want,” said Kelsey.

Taylor Wurtz nailed a jumper with 1:53 left and then got her layup to fall with 36 seconds remaining to pull the Badgers back within double digits at 59-50. But Wisconsin couldn’t capitalize on their final possessions and the Gophers sealed the win by going 7-for-8 from the free throw line in the last 1:28.

UW finished the game shooting 33.3 percent (20-of-60), tying its second-lowest shooting percentage of the season, including just 21.4 percent (6-of-28) in the first half. The Badgers hit 6-of-21 (28.6 percent) from beyond the arc.

The Gophers shot 25-of-51 (49.0 percent) from the field, including 2-of-5 (40.0 percent) from 3-point range.

Free throws made a difference as Minnesota finished 11-of-12 from the line (91.7 percent) while the Badgers went to the line just six times, making four for 66.7 percent. Both the makes and attempts were season lows for UW.

Wisconsin was led by Wurtz, the only Badger to score double figures with 15 points. Wurtz shot 6-for-11 from the field and pulled down nine rebounds. Both Jacki Gulczynski and Whyte contributed eight points, while Michala Johnson and Bauman each chipped in six points.

Wurtz also lead the team with nine rebounds, just missing her fourth straight double-double.

“Other than Taylor (Wurtz) with double digits, we didn’t have anyone else in double digits,” said Kelsey. “That’s not characteristic of our team, but we’ve just got to watch it and figure out what we need to do.”

Two of Minnesota’s starters finished the game in double figures led by Banham’s 19 points. The guard went 7-for-17 from the field, with 13 points coming in the second half. Amanda Zahui B. finished with 17 points, on 8-for-11 shooting from the field, and nine rebounds.

Minnesota outrebounded the Badgers 38-29, but both teams dished out 14 assists. The Gophers committed one more turnover, finishing with 16. UW turned the ball over 13 times in the first half but just twice in the second half.

Wisconsin battles No. 11 Penn State when it travels to University Park, Pa., on Sunday. Tip-off is set for noon live on ESPN2. UW returns to the Kohl Center on Feb. 20 for an 8 p.m. game against No. 25 Michigan State.

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