Badgers drop final non-conference game to Milwaukee

Sophomore guard Suzanne Gilreath scored 27 points in Wisconsin's victory.

Image By: Jon Yoon

After a hard fought battle on both ends of the court, the Wisconsin Badgers (7-6) were unable to secure a win over Milwaukee (8-2), falling just short Thursday night, 67-64. The game began on a fast-paced note right from the opening tip, and its intensity continued until the game’s final seconds.

“I think the microcosm of the whole game is the last two minutes when we were up two and we have to have the defensive rebound,” head coach Jonathan Tsipis said.

The Badgers led in the last few minutes of the game, but after missed rebounds, UWM putbacks and sub-par shot selections, UW allowed Milwaukee to get to the line and close out its victory.

“I thought in the first half we settled a lot and Milwaukee was on the attack,” Tsipis said. But after trailing at halftime, UW came out of its locker room on the attack and promptly cut into UWM’s lead.

Leading the way for the Badgers was Niya Beverley who scored nine points alone in the third quarter, and ended the game with 13. Playing without senior guard Cayla McMorris, Beverley’s leadership skills were evident as she controlled the pace of the game with confidence and helped facilitate UW’s offense.

Kendra Van Leeuwen added 12 points. Courtney Fredrickson chipped in 11 and Suzanne Gilreath finished with 10 points. And while the Badgers did a good job of cutting into UWM’s halftime lead, Wisconsin couldn’t muster up enough offense to steal a potential victory.

“I think you could definitely see our intensity and fight in the second half,” Van Leeuwen said. “But we could make that a full game. We were there in the first half, but we really zoned in in the second half. I think moving forward we can really take that energy and fight throughout the whole game.”

As for Milwaukee, it seemed to control the intensity throughout the entirety of the game. Bailey Farley had 16 points for UWM and Steph Kostowicz and Jamie Reit added 15 and 14 points respectively. Milwaukee experienced success from behind the arc against Wisconsin as it knocked down some big-time threes heading into the last few minutes of play.

Another area in which the Panthers succeeded was in their ability to get good positioning under the basket. Milwaukee out-rebounded the Badgers 43-40, and were led by Kostowicz who wrestled in nine boards.

Moving forward, the Badgers will now begin preparing for Big Ten play. Rebounding will continue to be a point of focus for UW as will Wisconsin’s perimeter defense and offensive efficiency. Conference play begins Dec. 28, when the Badgers host Iowa.

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