Badgers women's basketball team turned back by Minnesota
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UW WOMEN’S BASKETBALL

Badgers women's basketball team turned back by Minnesota

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The University of Wisconsin women’s basketball team didn’t have to worry about letting another big lead slip away this time.

The Badgers made sure of that with an atrocious first-half performance that saw them fall behind Minnesota by 24 points. That margin proved to be too big to overcome, despite a spirited second half rally, as they fell 73-64 Thursday night at the Kohl Center.

Coach Jonathan Tsipis, who normally can find a ray of sunshine on the cloudiest day, didn’t even look for one in his team’s first-half performance.

“Plain and simple, at halftime I’d write a check to everybody that came to the game,” Tsipis said. “They shouldn’t have had to pay to come watch that first half. That’s unacceptable.

“The one thing you can control is your effort and the second is your attitude. I didn’t think we did a very good job in the first half, myself being the first and foremost. First half we weren’t ready to play. I’ve got to do a better job getting our team ready.”

Sophomore Imani Lewis disagreed with part of her coach’s assessment.

“Something a coach should never do is coach attitude and effort,” Lewis said. “Me included, the whole team had attitudes. Nobody was listening, we just gave up. Coach puts that on his fault, but I put it on our fault. A coach shouldn’t have to coach attitude.

“We’re old enough and we’re mature enough to step on the court, listen to what he says and do what we have to do. When he has attitudes and can’t coach the game, that’s the results you’ll get.”

Freshman guard Jasmine Powell set the tone for the Gophers (15-8, 5-7 Big Ten Conference) with 17 of her career-high 24 points in the first half.

“I thought Jasmine Powell was the best player on the floor tonight,” Tsipis said. “She got them into all their actions, she got people shots that are makeable shots for them.”

Senior Abby Laszewski led the Badgers (11-12, 3-9) with 25 points, her most in a Big Ten game and matching her career high against Southern in 2017. She scored 19 in the second half, including the team’s first 12 points of the fourth quarter.

After the Gophers took their biggest lead, 55-30 midway through the third quarter, the Badgers finished the period with a 14-4 run to cut the deficit to 15 points.

Laszewski then outscored the Gophers 11-3 over the first 7 minutes of the fourth quarter as the Badgers pulled to within 62-55, but that was as close as they got.

“Coach challenged us at halftime but it needs to be coming from us,” Laszewski said. “That’s the way we know we can play, but it needs to be both halves.”

Having watched his team let big leads get away from them in the second half in four of their Big Ten losses, Tsipis challenged his team at the break to demonstrate some fighting spirit even if the margin seemed insurmountable.

“You can’t put yourself in a hole like that, being down 24 at home at halftime,” he said. “Look at how we started games and pushed people back on their heels. We’ve got to be ready to do that and take every punch and be ready to punch back. I thought today we just took punch, punch, punch.

“My analogy to the team was, you got knocked down, are you going to sit there and get counted out or are you going to get back up and get in the fight until the end of the decision? I thought they did that the second half.”

MINNESOTA

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

T. Bello 18 1-5 2-2 6 5 0 4 4

K. Bello 29 2-7 0-0 12 5 2 0 4

Powell 40 7-17 7-8 5 1 5 6 24

Scalia 32 6-15 1-2 4 1 1 2 16

Hubbard 35 2-9 1-2 3 0 0 2 7

Adashchyk 25 4-6 5-6 6 3 0 1 15

Tomancova 8 0-0 0-0 1 3 0 0 0

Sconiers 14 1-4 1-1 2 2 0 1 3

Totals 23-63 17-21 43 20 8 17 73

WISCONSIN

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

Laszewski 30 7-13 11-15 7 3 0 0 25

Lewis 31 4-11 7-9 5 1 2 3 15

Van Leeuwen 21 1-6 0-0 4 2 2 3 2

Beverley 30 3-11 0-0 1 2 3 1 7

Hilliard 25 2-4 0-0 2 1 0 1 4

Stauffacher 8 0-1 0-0 1 1 1 1 0

Pospisilova 19 0-4 0-0 1 2 1 0 0

Gilreath 17 3-6 0-0 0 1 0 1 9

Fredrickson 9 1-2 0-0 6 3 0 1 2

Stapleton 3 0-0 0-0 1 0 0 1 0

Luehring 4 0-0 0-0 1 1 0 0 0

Bragg 3 0-0 0-0 0 1 1 0 0

Totals 21-58 18-24 33 19 10 12 64

Team totals include rebounds and turnovers

Minnesota 18 25 16 14 — 73

Wisconsin 9 10 25 20 — 64

3-pointers — M 10-26 (Scalia 3-7, Powell 3-8, Adashchyk 2-3, Hubbard 2-7, K. Bello 0-1), W 4-13 (Gilreath 3-5, Beverley 1-5, Pospisilova 0-1, Van Leeuwen 0-2). Blocks — M 3 (K. Bello 2, Sconiers 1), W 4 (Lewis 3, Laszewski 1). Steals — M 5 (Powell 2, Scalia 2, Hubbard 1), W 9 (Laszewski 2, Beverley 2, Pospisilova 2, Lewis 1, Hilliard 1, Gilreath 1). Field goal percentage — M .365, W .362. Free throw percentage — M .810, W .750. Att. — 3,581.

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