Women's basketball

Second-quarter deficit too much to overcome as Badgers fall to Duke at home

Head coach Jonathan Tsipis's team has been plagued by slow starts this season, and will look to avoid the same fate against Illinois.

Image By: Cameron Lane-Flehinger

The Duke Blue Devils (0-0 ACC, 5-3 overall) handed Wisconsin (0-0 Big Ten, 6-2) its first home loss of the season in a 53-60 defeat for the Badgers, their second straight loss of the year.

The game got off to a slow start, as neither side was unable to find the basket until the Blue Devils spilled first blood with a free throw to take a 1-0 lead. The Badgers then whipped off an 8-0 run thanks to sharp interior passing, solid rebounding, and multiple fouls by Duke. The Blue Devils bounced back, protecting the paint and riding the duo of junior Leaonna Odom and sophomore Jade Williams to pull within one as Wisconsin led 10-9 at the end of the first quarter.

In the second quarter, the Blue Devils dominated as they outscored Wisconsin 21-9 and out-rebounded Wisconsin by 10. At the onset, the two teams seemed headed for a back-and-forth affair as both squads continued to answer each other’s scores. After a timeout by head coach Jonathan Tsipis of Wisconsin, Duke swung momentum its way as a few crucial threes sank the Badger’s hopes. Tsipis’ continued to make frequent lineup changes, but couldn't find a group that would stop the bleeding before halftime.

Duke continued picked up right where they left off to start the second half as senior Faith Suggs advanced the Blue Devils’ lead to 34-19. Not to be deterred, senior Marsha Howard began the turning of the tide with an “and-one” to begin what would become a 9-0 run for the Badgers. The Badgers' run was marked by high-effort plays, including the defense forcing a five-second violation on an inbounds pass and freshman Imani Lewis’ layup after recovering a pair of offensive rebounds offensive rebounds. Not to be outdone, Duke ended the run with a couple of layups of their own before a late free throw by junior Kendra Van Leeuwen left the Badgers trailing 29-38.

The Badgers opened up on offense in the fourth quarter, but so did the Blue Devils. Despite aggressive and competitive play on both ends of the court, Wisconsin was undone by several turnovers, blown opportunities and Duke junior Haley Gorecki’s awakening in the fourth quarter. Gorecki consistently found the basket in the paint, at the line, and beyond the arc. Despite all this, the Badgers played competitively by attacking the ball and basket down to the final seconds as Marsha Howard’s last layup brought the score to a close with a final score of 53-60.

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