Wisconsin struggles to match Maryland's firepower in blowout loss

Roichelle Marble and the Wisconsin Badgers' guards struggled to defend Maryland in a blowout loss Sunday.

Image By: Cameron Lane-Flehinger and Cameron Lane-Flehinger

The Wisconsin women’s basketball team (0-4 Big Ten, 7-10 overall) wrapped up their tough opening stretch of conference play Sunday afternoon as the No. 13 Maryland Terrapins (4-0, 15-2) used a 20-4 run in the second and third quarters to secure a 71-44 victory at the Kohl Center.

Wisconsin assistant coach Craig Carter spoke on 100.9 FM after the game and summarized what happened to the team during that stretch with three things. First, Carter pointed out that he noticed throughout the game that UW gave Maryland too many live ball turnovers, allowing them to get out and score before Wisconsin even had the chance to set up its defense.

The Badgers only turned the ball over 13 times compared to Maryland’s 14, but The Terrapins were able to convert their turnovers into 23 points compared to the Badgers’ 13 points.

Secondly, Carter noted that UW was unable to build on its momentum from the first half when at one point they cut deficit down to six points and translate to the second half. He added that there were at least three or four shots that they missed in a minute-plus span that would have allowed them to pull ahead and possibly created a different outcome.

This premonition turned out to be true, as Maryland would explode in the last three minutes of the second quarter to the tune of a 14-0 run and extended its lead to 20 points in the third quarter until UW finally responded with six points of its own.

Lastly, Carter said that coming into the game UW had emphasized protecting the elbows on the defensive end, to not allow Maryland to get second chances, or establish low-post presence. In hindsight, though, Carter stated that Wisconsin’s defense overcommitted to much at times, leaving UM’s great shooters wide open.

“It was a pick your poison type of situation today,” he said.

Although Maryland made nine threes at an impressive 42.9 percent clip, the thing that stood out most was the contribution from its bench, as it contributed 33 points compared to UW’s 14 bench points. The Terrapins bench was led by impressive performances from senior guard Kristen Confroy, who scored 12 points, and sophomore guard Kaila Charles, who added 10 points.

UW held Maryland to their third lowest scoring total on the year with 71 points and sophomore forward Courtney Fredrickson continued her double-digit scoring streak by dropping in 12 points, but it was not nearly enough. Junior forward Marsha Howard also followed suit by scoring 10 points.

Sophomore forward Abby Laszewski has also been a bright spot over the course of the last two games as she has blocked seven shots. This bodes well for the Badgers moving forward in Big Ten play as having a dominant post presence can help win games late down the stretch.

The Badgers will look to snap their five game losing streak and reverse their fortune so far this conference year this Thursday as they head to Evanston, Ill, to face the Northwestern Wildcats (1-3, 8-10).

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