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On the line: Badgers use late free throws to edge Golden Eagles, 71-68

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Marquette Wisconsin 71, Marquette 68
Kohl Center • Madison, Wis. • Attendance: 3,308

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1st 2nd Final
41 28 68
 Wisconsin 43 28 71
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 Statistical Leaders
 • Nicole Bauman: 16 Pts, 5 Stl, 5-8 FG
 • Jacki Gulczynski: 14 Pts, 2 Reb, 5-8 FG
 • Morgan Paige: 19 Pts, 2 Stl, 7-16 FG
 Stats at a Glance
 FG Percentage .491 436
 3-Point FG Percentage .357 .600
 FT Percentage .692 .778
 Offensive Rebounds 12 11
 Defensive Rebounds 23 18
 Total Rebounds 35 29
 Turnovers 21 17
 Steals 9 13
 Assists 11 14
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Dec. 5, 2012

MADISON, Wis. -- A pair of free throws by freshman Nicole Bauman with 14 seconds remaining sealed the deal for the Wisconsin women’s basketball team Wednesday night at the Kohl Center. The Badgers used Bauman’s free throws to edge Marquette, 71-68, on their way to winning their second-consecutive game.

Winning two games in a row for the first time this season was important for head coach Bobbie Kelsey and gives the Badgers (5-3) something they can add on to.

“This is so important for our team, because we can build on this,” Kelsey said. “You’ve got to win some of these games to build on them. It’s not good to just say ‘We tried hard but you lost.’ You want to win them.”

 Fast Facts
• Bauman finished with a career-high 16 points & five steals
• Gulczynski netted a career-best 14 points
• Badgers shot a season-high 60% from 3-point range

A pair of free throws by AnnMarie Brown at the 5:43 mark in the second half tied the game, 63-63, and swung the momentum into the Badgers’ favor.

Cassie Rochel followed with two free throws of her own with 5:29 to play and Jacki Gulczynski added one free throw at 4:45 to give UW a 66-63 advantage. Gulczynski netted her 14th point of the game on a 3-pointer with 1:38 remaining, giving the Badgers a 69-63 lead.

It was a big basket for Gulczynski and the Badgers. 

“Jackie (Gulczynski) stepped up huge,” Kelsey continued. “She had eight points at halftime, and I said, ‘Jackie, you have got to help us.’ That three was just (huge for us). I was going out of my mind, thinking ‘Please God, let this go in!’.”

Marquette (4-3) wasn’t giving up, bringing the score within one, 69-68, on a pair of free throws and a 3-pointer with 54 seconds to play. A foul by Brooklyn Pumroy sealed the Golden Eagle’s fate, sending Bauman to the line and giving the Badgers the win.

Wisconsin opened the game with a perfect 8-of-8 shooting performance, including five 3-pointers, to run the score up to 21-6 at the 15:39 mark in the first half.

Marquette worked its way back into the game, using a 12-0 run to take a 24-23 lead with just under 10 minutes to go.

Seven lead changes in the final 10 minutes of the half saw the Badgers end up back on top, 43-41 and, for the eighth time this season, UW took a lead into the locker room.

The Badgers maintained their lead until Marquette scored an easy layup with 10:22 remaining to take a 55-54 lead.

Marquette held on to its lead until Brown’s free throws tied the game with under six minutes to play.

Bauman finished with a career-high 16 points, shooting 5-of-8 from the floor, including 4-of-5 from 3-point range, and swiped a career-high five steals.

It is a performance that Kelsey needed out of the young guard.

“For Nicole to step up to the line as a freshman and hit two big free throws that we absolutely needed and not show any nervousness at all. Her demeanor is very calm,” Kelsey continued. “Being a freshman is hard because they don’t know where they fit in; they don’t know what their role is yet. But I told Nicole, ‘You have got to score for us.’ She’s a very good shooter.”

Gulczynski netted a career-high 14 points, breaking the double-digit scoring mark for the first time in her career.

Morgan Paige led all scorers with 19 points while Rochel also finished in double figures with 10 points. Marquette also had four players in double digits led by Arlesia Morse with 15 tallies.

Wisconsin finished the night with a season-high 9-of-15 (60.0 percent) performance from beyond the arc, shooting 24-of-55 (43.6 percent) from the floor.

Marquette netted a UW opponent season high 49.1 percent (27-of-55) shooting performance, going 5-of-14 (35.7 percent) from 3-point range.

The Badgers finished with a season-high 13 steals, forcing 21 Marquette turnovers. UW dished off 14 assists, led by a season-high eight from Tiera Stephen, while turning the ball over 17 times.  Wisconsin was outrebounded 35-29, led by seven from Rochel.

Wisconsin puts its two-game win streak on the line on Monday, Dec. 10 when it hosts Florida Atlantic in the Kohl Center at 7 p.m.

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