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Second-half rally falls short to No. 5 Duke



Dec. 2, 2010

 5 Duke 59, Wisconsin 51
Big Ten/ACC Challenge
Kohl Center • Madison, Wis.
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1st 2nd Final
 Duke (8-0) 27 32 59
 Wisconsin (2-6) 18 33 51
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• Attendance: 4,298
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 Statistical Leaders
 • Taylor Wurtz: 19 Pts, 4 Reb, 1 Ast, 2 Stl
 • Alyssa Karel: 14 Pts, 3 Reb, 3 Ast, 1 Blk
 • Tara Steinbauer: 7 Pts, 6 Reb, 1 Ast, 1 Blk
 • Lin Zastrow: 7 Pts, 6 Reb, 1 Ast, 1 Blk
 Stats at a Glance
 FG Percentage
.333 .400
 3-Point FG Percentage .250 .350
 FT Percentage .625 .571
 Offensive Rebounds
20 6
 Defensive Rebounds 25 24
 Total Rebounds 45 30
14 21
6 9
3 4
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MADISON, Wis. -- Despite outscoring No. 5 Duke 33-32 in the second half and tying the score at 31-all with 12:45 left in the contest, the Wisconsin women's basketball team fell to the Blue Devils, 59-51, in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge. With the Badgers' loss Thursday night at the Kohl Center, the Atlantic Coast Conference won the challenge with six wins to the Big Ten Conference's five.

 Fast Facts
• Wurtz scored a season-high 19 points
• Duke's 59 points was a season-low
• UW finished with better FG and 3-point percentages

Duke's preseason All-American Jasmine Thomas, who entered the contest averaging more than 15 points per game, was held to just 14 points while Duke's Chelsea Gray was the only other Blue Devil to reach double digits with 13 points. Wisconsin held the Blue Devil's to their lowest scoring game of the season.  

Duke was able to come up with the victory, but the Badgers' outperformed the Royal Blue and White in both field goal and 3-point percentage. Wisconsin finished 18-of-45 for 40 percent accuracy from the field to Duke's 33.3 percent on 20-of-60 shooting. The UW shot 7-of-20 from 3-point land for 35 percent and Duke knocked down 25 percent of its opportunity (4-of-16). Wisconsin's seven baskets from downtown slated a new season-high for the Cardinal and White.

Sophomore Taylor Wurtz led the Badgers with a game-high 19 points, including a season-high four 3-pointers. Wurtz's double-figure showing was also a season-high scoring performance for the 6-foot guard.  Fellow guard Alyssa Karel also reached double digits for the UW with 14 points.

Despite the Badgers scoring the first bucket, Duke made an early eight-point run to lead the game, 8-2, with 14:42 left in the first half. Wisconsin snapped the Blue Devil's run by scoring eight-straight points to give UW a 10-8 lead with 11:56 left in the first frame.

Duke led by 11 points (27-16) late in the first but half and took a 27-18 lead into the locker room. The halftime score marked the lowest scoring half for each team this season.

Wurtz and freshman Morgan Paige kicked off the second half with back-to-back 3-pointers to decrease Wisconsin's deficit to 27-24 with 17:30 left in the game. The Badgers held Duke scoreless for more than four minutes to open the half until Karima Christmas sank two from the free throw line with 16:35 left in the game to give Duke the 29-24 lead.  

Less than four minutes later, Wurtz sunk her second 3-pointer of the game to tie the score at 31-31 with 12:45 to go. Thomas answered Wurtz's 3-point effort 18 seconds later with a 3-ball herself to give Duke the 34-31 lead.  

After Thomas' 3-pointer, Steinbauer helped the Badgers come within one point with a basket (34-33) in the paint with 12:08 left on the clock, but Wisconsin was unable to keep up as Duke outscored the Badgers 18-10 to take a 52-41 lead with 2:29 to play. UW cut the lead to five (52-47) with 1:49 to play but the Badgers would get no closer.

The Badgers' biggest flaw was off the glass and in the possession game.  The Blue Devils pulled down 45 rebounds to Wisconsin's 30. The offensive boards were what hurt Wisconsin the most with the Blue Devils outrebounding the Badgers 20-6 on the offensive end. Duke's 20 offensive rebounds helped the Blue Devils record 11 second-chance points to Wisconsin's six. In addition, the Badgers' notched their second-most turnovers of the season with 21 and Duke only gave the ball away 14 times in the contest.

The contest took place in front of a season record-high 4,298 fans at the Kohl Center.

The Badgers return to the court on Sunday to compete in their final game of the Big Ten/Big 12 Challenge at the Oklahoma State. Tip-off is at 2 p.m. (CT) from the Gallagher-Iba Arena in Stillwater, Okla.

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