After coming off of a win against UT-Rio Grande Valley Wednesday night the Badgers had one day to prepare for a tough Butler team. Fatigued played a factor early as the Bulldogs jumped out to a quick 11-0 lead in the first three minutes, one they would not relinquish en route to their 69-62 win.
Wisconsin continued to fight throughout the content and had a season-low nine turnovers.
UW trailed by as many 13 points in the second quarter but it was able to dwindle the Butler lead down to six before halftime. With about seven minutes left in the final quarter the Badgers were able to close the gap to just a single point, but the Bulldogs would respond by going on 7-2 run thus putting the game away..
Head coach Jonathan Tsipis said of his teams’ grit and determination, “I thought we showed excellent resolve as we battled back and put ourselves into a position to compete down the stretch and possibly win tonight.”
Wisconsin again struggled in the rebounding category as Butler won the battle by the end of the night.
“The tale of the second half was that we didn’t rebound and limit their offensive possessions, something we did extremely well throughout the first half, and that lent Butler the ability to capitalize down the stretch and win,” Tsipis told UWBadgers.com
Sophomore guard Suzanne Gilreath and senior guard Cayla McMorris tried to keep the Badgers within striking distance as McMorris secured her third double-double on the year after scoring 20 points and grabbing 10 rebounds. Gilreath provided a much-needed spark in the first quarter as she jump-started the Badgers’ offense by hitting back-to-back threes to close the gap early on. She would end up scoring nine more points on the night as she led Wisconsin’s bench with 15 points.
Success off turnovers was the difference as although both Butler and Wisconsin both had nine turnovers, it was Wisconsin’s inability to turn those turnovers into points that was the difference. UW only managed to get four points of Butler’s mistakes, while Butler was able to convert Wisconsin’s nine turnovers into 14 points.
The Bulldogs bench played a key role in them winning as sophomore guard Kristen Spolyar came off in the crucial fourth quarter and scored nine points to extend BU’s seven points with three minutes left.
Junior forward Tori Schickel as she scored eight points in the fourth quarter and grabbed two rebounds to secure yet another double-double on the year for the Bulldogs.
Looking ahead, the Badgers will have one day to prepare for their fourth game in seven days as they welcome Savannah State to the Kohl Center Sunday. Their focus will have to be on winning the rebound battle for all four quarters and limiting their turnovers.