AP NEWS

Badgers women’s basketball team comes out flat, loses big against Minnesota

January 19, 2019

There are no good losses, but some losses are worse than others.

And for the University of Wisconsin women’s basketball team, Thursday night’s 78-50 loss to Minnesota at the Kohl Center was about as bad as it gets.

The Badgers (10-8, 1-5 Big Ten) got off to another sluggish start and never snapped out of it as the Golden Gophers (13-4, 2-4) led from start to finish in winning for the first time since beating the Badgers 74-56 in the Big Ten Conference opener.

Most disturbing to UW coach Jonathan Tsipis was that the Gophers played harder than his team.

“I think the easiest place to start is I didn’t feel like we were ready to play,” Tsipis said. “I’m never going to question the team’s effort, but today I thought Minnesota wanted the game more.

“It’s a rivalry game, the second time around, we’re both hungry to get a Big Ten win. The stat sheet is very telling, but I think our group is capable of a lot more. You’ve got 18 of these and you’ve got to be ready for every one of them because everybody wants to come in and kick you in the teeth and take it away from you. If you have the look of fear on your face on the offensive side or the defensive side, people are going to go right over you.”

The Gophers were led by redshirt senior guard Kenisha Bell with 25 points and a career high-tying 10 assists, with 14 of those points coming in the first half as Minnesota opened up a 35-17 lead. Bell entered the game shooting just 34 percent in Big Ten play, but made eight of 14 field goal attempts Thursday.

“I thought Kenisha Bell showed why she’s an all-conference player from the very start in the mode she was in, attacking,” Tsipis said.

Bell credited her team’s fast-paced tempo with helping it snap its four-game losing streak.

“I think the pace was faster than normal,” Bell said. “We pushed the ball and we had a good tempo throughout the whole game. I think the pace really changed the game.”

And unlike Sunday, when the Badgers rallied from a 37-14 deficit after one quarter to make a game of it against Indiana, this time they were never able to shift the momentum.

Tsipis said he saw no indication that his team was headed for another rough start. Indeed, he anticipated just the opposite.

“I thought it was one of our two or three best shootarounds of the year today,” Tsipis said. “Our kids had great energy, they were locked into what we were trying to do from a defensive game plan.

“The accountability starts with me. I’ve got to get our team in a better position to come out, especially at home.”

Senior Marsha Howard was the only Badger to score in double figures with 10 points before fouling out midway through the fourth quarter.

She was at a loss to explain her team’s flat performance.

“You just have to give credit to Minnesota,” Howard said. “They came out ready to play. They executed on both ends of the floor and they found open men and made open shots. They were a little hungrier than us. We just need to find our passion and what we want our outcomes to be.

“I don’t think talent played a part in it at all. It was just the fight and the hunger, and yes, we were outbattled on that. Our team is very talented and we can go toe-to-toe with Minnesota. They were just a little more hungry than us, so that does hurt.”

MINNESOTA

min fg-a ft-a rb pf a to pts

T. Bello 29 6-12 2-4 9 2 1 2 14

Lamke 31 5-13 5-5 7 2 1 0 15

Pitts 28 2-7 0-0 1 4 1 2 5

Brunson 22 1-4 0-0 1 4 1 1 3

Bell 34 8-14 8-10 4 1 10 1 25

Staples 14 2-2 0-0 1 1 1 1 5

Kaposi 12 1-1 1-3 6 1 2 2 3

Garr-Perez 21 2-3 0-0 4 1 1 1 6

K. Bello 4 1-1 0-0 0 0 0 1 2

Byrne 3 0-0 0-0 2 0 0 0 0

Totals 28-57 16-22 37 17 18 12 78

WISCONSIN

min fg-a ft-a rb pf a to pts

Karlis 24 2-5 2-6 4 2 1 2 6

Howard 30 5-11 0-2 6 5 1 5 10

Lewis 23 2-7 2-4 2 3 1 1 6

VanLeeuwen 22 1-4 2-2 0 0 0 0 0

Beverley 25 1-4 0-2 3 0 1 3 4

Laszewski 25 4-9 1-1 3 2 0 1 9

Gilreath 18 1-6 0-0 2 0 0 0 3

Luehring 15 2-4 0-0 2 2 0 0 5

Hale 10 0-0 0-2 1 1 0 1 0

Bragg 5 2-2 1-2 0 0 0 1 5

Crowley 3 0-0 0-0 1 0 0 0 0

Mathiason 1 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0

Totals 20-52 8-21 28 16 8 16 50

Team totals include rebounds and turnovers

Minnesota 17 18 22 21 — 78

Wisconsin 10 7 20 13 — 50

3-pointers — M 6-10 (Garrido Perez 2-3, Staples 1-1, Bell 1-1, Brunson 1-2, Pitts 1-3), W 2-9 (Luehring 1-3, Gilreath 1-4, Karlis 0-1, Van Leeuwen 0-1). Blocks — M 4 (Lamke 1, T. Bello 1, Garrido Perez 1, Byrne 1), W 7 (Laszewski 3, Karlis 2, Lewis 2). Steals — M 6 (Brunson 4, T. Bello 1, Staples 1), W 9 (Howard 3, Karlis 2, Luehring 2, Laszewski 1, Bragg 1). Field goal percentage — M .491, W .385. Free throw percentage — M .727, W .381. Att. — 3,137.

AP RADIO
Update hourly