EVANSTON, Ill. — Despite outscoring No. 24 Northwestern in the second half, the Wisconsin women’s basketball team couldn’t overcome a 37-20 halftime deficit. The Badgers fell to the Wildcats, 67-54, on Saturday afternoon.
Credit Source: University of Wisconsin Athletics
Wisconsin led 11-10 with 4:24 to play in the first quarter before NU went on an 11-0 run to lead 21-11 at the end of the period. The Wildcats led by as many as 18 (36-18) in the second quarter to maintain a solid lead at the half.
UW outscored Northwestern 19-16 in the third quarter to cut the lead to 12, including the first time at 43-31 with 4:36 on the clock. The Badgers also outscored NU 15-14 in the fourth quarter but would get no closer than 53-42 with 7:50 to play.
Plagued by turnovers against the Big Ten’s leading defense, the Wildcats has 11 steals and forced 26 Badger turnovers, the second most for Wisconsin this season. Northwestern scored 21 points off turnovers and 17 fastbreak points.
The two teams were nearly even in other categories with Wisconsin shooting 40.9% (18-44) from the field, including 37.5% (6-16) from 3-point range. Sophomore Sydney Hilliard scored a game-high 15 points while junior Imani Lewis added 11 points. Transfer Estella Moschkau led UW from deep, hitting three triples for nine points.
Northwestern shot 41.1% (23-56) from the field but just 15.4% (2-13) from behind the arc. The Wildcats had three players score in double figures behind 14 points apiece from Lindsey Pulliam and Sydney Wood.
The Badgers edged NU, 33-30, in rebounds behind eight boards from Lewis. Hilliard led UW with five assists while Moschkau had a team-best three steals.
Fouls also made a difference in the game as the Badgers were called for 21 team fouls and Northwestern 14. The Wildcats got into the bonus less than four minutes into the third quarter.
Straight from the court
“Northwestern hasn’t scored it as well in the second half the last five games. To put that pressure on them, makes them think its going to happen again. Our defense in the second half was much better. The one area that hurt us, especially in the third quarter, was allowing them to get in the double bonus quickly and they went 10-for-10 from the free-throw line in the third quarter.
“In the second half, we rebounded the ball better. We cut down on the turnovers, still not enough. When you cut down and you shoot 58% in the third quarter and 46% in the fourth and you out score them in both, you’re doing some good things to build on. We just can’t be down 17 at halftime. It takes so much energy to be able to do things at a high level in that last 20 minutes.”
Wisconsin hosts No. 14 Indiana Wednesday at the Kohl Center with tipoff scheduled for 6 p.m. A live stream will be available on Big Ten Network+ while fans can listen to the game on U 100.9 FM in the Madison area or anywhere with the iHeartRadio app.