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Wisconsin's senior night spoiled by No. 20 Nebraska

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Nebraska Wisconsin 53, #20 Nebraska 55
Kohl Center • Madison, Wis. • Attendance: 4,223

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1st 2nd Final
31 24 55
 Wisconsin 27 26 53
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 Statistical Leaders
 • Jacki Gulczynski: 19 Pts, 5 Reb
 • Tiera Stephen: 15 Pts, 5 Reb, 7 Ast
 • Cassie Rochel: 14 Reb, 4 Blk
 Stats at a Glance
 FG Percentage .377 .393
 3-Point FG Percentage .118 .182
 FT Percentage .778 .700
 Offensive Rebounds 8 9
 Defensive Rebounds 26 31
 Total Rebounds 34 40
 Turnovers 9 13
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Feb. 28, 2013

MADISON, Wis. -- Despite two last-minute shots, the Wisconsin women's basketball team couldn't hold on in the last few minutes, falling 55-53 to No. 20 Nebraska in its last home game of the season on Thursday night at the Kohl Center.

"We came up a little short, but I am proud of the team," said head coach Bobbie Kelsey. "You can tell these kids just fight and fight and fight." 

 Fast Facts
Jacki Gulczynski leads all scorers with 19 points
Tiera Stephen records career-best 15 points
• Wisconsin outrebounds Nebraska 40-34

Wisconsin (11-17 overall, 3-12 Big Ten)  led 53-52 with 1:14 to play before Nebraska’s Hailie Sample hit a wide-open layup with 44 seconds on the clock to give the Huskers (22-6, 12-3)  a 54-53 lead.

The Badgers brought the ball up but with 28 seconds left, Morgan Paige missed a jumper. Tiera Stephen got the offensive rebound but Wisconsin missed an opportunity as it turned the ball over. UW was forced to foul, sending NU’s Lindsey Moore to the line. Moore made her first free throw but missed the second and the Badgers rebounded. Wisconsin has nine seconds for a last-minute shot but Stephen’s attempt came up short.

"I thought it was fitting that Tiera had the ball for the last play," said Kelsey. "She would make that shot probably eight out of 10 times. She just came up a little short there. I wish she would have made it because it was senior night and it would have been fitting for her to make that shot."

Stephen left in all on the floor in her last Kohl Center game, recording a career-high 15 points. The lone Badger senior also recorded seven assists and pulled down five rebounds.

She was one of three Badgers in double-digit scoring as Jacki Gulczynski led all scorers with 19 points, while grabbing five rebounds. Paige added 14 points for Wisconsin.

Nebraska was led by Moore with 13 points while Rachel Theriot added 11 points.

UW shot 39.3 percent (22-of-56) from the field while holding the Huskers to 37.7 percent (23-of-61). Neither team shot the ball well from 3-point range with both teams making just two treys. Both teams also made seven free throws.

The Badgers outrebounded the Huskers 40-34, as Rochel led all players with 14 boards, marking her fifth-straight game in double-digit rebounds. Tessa Cichy tied a career-high with six boards. Nebraska was led by Emily Cady and Jordan Hooper with 11 boards apiece.

The first half started slow for Wisconsin until Jacki Gulczynski hit a 3-pointer to get the Badgers on the board. UW had its first lead of the game when Gulczynski hit another three, putting Wisconsin up 7-5 three minutes into the game.

Nebraska picked up momentum, leading by as much as seven points in the first half. A layup from Hooper gave the Huskers a 27-20 lead with six minutes left in the first period. The Badgers began to chip away, starting with a layup from Stephen. A drive from Paige brought Wisconsin within two points, 29-27, with 2:42 remaining in the first 20 minutes of play.

The Badgers turned it up in the second half, tying the game up 37-37 with a layup from Gulczynski with 14:35 left in the game. The sophomore forward found her groove, scoring the next eight Wisconsin points, giving the Badgers their largest lead of the game, 47-42, with 9:55 remaining in the game.

UW led 49-44 with 8:26 to play but did not score until Stephen hit a jumper to give the Badgers a 51-48 lead with just under five minutes left. The Huskers took the lead back with two baskets from Theriot. Paige answered back with just over a minute left with a layup of her own, giving Wisconsin the 53-52 advantage.

Wisconsin finishes its regular season at Michigan State on Sunday at 1 p.m. CT from East Lansing, Mich. Fans can watch the game live on the Big Ten Network. 

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