The Wisconsin women’s basketball team knew it was going to face an Indiana squad desperate for its first conference victory of the season on Thursday night. In their last home game of the season, the Hoosiers delivered with a 62-60 win over the Badgers.
On her senior night, Indiana forward Danilsa Andujar drained two free throws to give the Hoosiers (1-14 Big Ten, 6-22 overall) a two-point lead with 3.2 seconds remaining in the game. Andujar stepped up to the free throw stripe shooting only 44.7 percent from the line on the season, but calmly sunk both attempts of the one-and-one to break the tie. Wisconsin junior guard Tiera Stephen’s half court shot at the buzzer would not fall, and the Badgers (4-11, 8-19) fell for the sixth straight game.
“We didn’t come out ready to play and they took advantage of that,” head coach Bobbie Kelsey said. “It’s just disheartening because with four [straight] losses we should be ready to play, but apparently not.”
Wisconsin trailed 33-29 at halftime, but kept within striking distance of Indiana for much of the second half. With 2:17 remaining in the game and the Badgers down three, sophomore center Cassie Rochel was fouled while making a layup, and she sunk the free throw to tie the game at 58. Wisconsin had a chance to take the lead with less than a minute to go and the game tied at 60, but Stephen’s jumper with 33 seconds left would not fall.
The Badgers had two players finish with double-doubles, the first time that has happened in over four years for Wisconsin. Junior guard Taylor Wurtz finished with 22 points and 12 rebounds, and senior forward Anya Covington had 10 points and 12 rebounds. Senior guard Jade Davis chipped in with nine points and six rebounds, and the Badgers outrebounded the Hoosiers 41-33. However, the Badgers struggled with taking care of the ball and ended up with 23 turnovers.
“You can’t turn the ball over 23 times and think you’re going to beat anybody,” Kelsey said. “They scored 26 points off of our turnovers. It’s just carelessness, not paying attention to detail, you’ve got to care enough to take care of the ball.”
The Badgers find themselves tied for tenth place in the Big Ten conference standings with Northwestern. Wisconsin’s final regular season game takes place this Sunday at the Kohl Center against Illinois. The Badgers would move into a tie for ninth place with a win over the Fighting Illini, who are currently one game ahead of the Badgers in the standings at 5-10. Wisconsin defeated Illinois on the road 70-67 on Jan. 8.
Sunday will be Senior Day at the Kohl Center for Covington, Davis and forward Ashley Thomas. The trio has been a mainstay in the starting lineup in Kelsey’s first year as Wisconsin’s head coach. The game is scheduled for a 2 p.m. tipoff, with a post-game ceremony to honor the three seniors.