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The Daily Cardinal Est. 1892
Friday, May 24, 2024
Badgers play Buckeyes tight but come up short

wbball: Lin Zastrow and the Badgers fell to Ohio State Thursday night.

Badgers play Buckeyes tight but come up short

Facing Big Ten champion and No. 7 Ohio State Buckeyes, the Wisconsin women's basketball team fought hard on both ends of the court for 40 minutes. It was an offensive shootout in which the Badgers (8-7 Big Ten, 18-8 overall) came up just short in the end, falling to the Buckeyes (14-2, 26-3), 83-78. That score marks both the most points scored by Wisconsin this season as well as the most points surrendered on defense.

The Badgers knew they had a tough task ahead of them entering the game, guarding both junior center Jantel Lavender and sophomore guard Samantha Prahalis. Lavender came into the game leading the Big Ten in scoring, averaging over 20 points per game, while Prahalis entered averaging over 16.

Both players lived up to their reputations, as Prahalis proved unstoppable with circus shots beneath the rim, baskets from behind the arc and clutch free throws down the stretch. Lavender finished her night with 23 points and 12 rebounds.

For the Badgers, both junior guard Alyssa Karel and freshman guard Taylor Wurtz turned in two of their best performances of the season. Karel shot well from the perimeter and in the paint all night, leading Wisconsin with 21 points. Meanwhile, Wurtz finished two rebounds short of a double-double, scoring 18 points in just 23 minutes.

Wisconsin started exceptionally tough on defense, jumping out to a quick 6-1 lead. The Badgers didn't allow a Buckeye field goal until the 16:30 mark. Both teams matched each other on offense and defense for most of the rest of the half, but Wisconsin turnovers proved costly and allowed Ohio State to jump to a 37-32 halftime lead.

Although the Badgers remained tough on defense in the second half, the team had difficulty capitalizing on offensive opportunities. and the Buckeyes extended their lead to 74-64 with 3:14 remaining.

Wisconsin failed to surrender, however, and gave it one final run, cutting the Ohio State lead to just two with 30 seconds remaining. The Buckeyes hit their free throws, though, to close out the game.

""I thought our team did a very good job. They fought as hard as they could,"" head coach Lisa Stone said. ""I just wish we had five more minutes.""

With the loss, the Badgers drop to fourth place in the Big Ten with just three conference games remaining. They next face Michigan this Sunday in Ann Arbor at noon.

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