Wisconsin (1-4 Big Ten, 10-7 overall) lost its third straight game in a 75-68 loss to the 25th ranked Indiana Hoosiers (4-1, 15-2).
The game kept pretty close until the Hoosiers went on a dominating 26-1 run at the end of the first quarter and beginning of the second. Indiana junior guard Ali Patberg and sophomore guard Jaelynn Penn went off on their run, combining for 13 points and five assists during the five minute span while missed shots and turnovers plagued the Badgers during that crucial run.
Although the Badgers weren’t able to come back from the 25-point deficit, they fought back hard. Wisconsin managed to out-score Indiana 54-38 in the final three quarters of the game, including a 13-4 run to finish the game only down seven.
One of the main reasons why the Badgers ended up losing the game was due to the fact that they weren’t able to effectively defend the Hoosiers star guards Patberg and Penn. Patberg finished the game with 15 points and nine assists while Penn went 4-for-4 from three-point range and scored a game high 21 points.
The Badgers still have a lot of work to do if they want to be able to better compete with conference opponents. Indiana shot over 50 percent from the three-point line, which helped make the deficit insurmountable. Wisconsin still needs to work on free throw shooting as well, as they shot 9-for-20 from the line. In the Big Ten, Wisconsin ranks last in free throw percentage, shooting 10 percent worse than the second-to-last team (Ohio State).
A few of the key players for Wisconsin were sophomore guard Niya Beverley, senior forward Marsha Howard and freshman forward Imani Lewis. Beverley arguably had her best game of the year, scoring 15 points off 6-for-10 shooting along with seven assists. Meanwhile Howard and Lewis dominated the paint, combining for 29 points and 17 rebounds, 10 of which were offensive rebounds.
But the effort wasn’t quite enough as the Badgers suffered their third straight loss in conference. Head coach Jonathan Tsipis will hope the team can regroup against their rival Minnesota Golden Gophers (1-3, 12-3) on Thursday, Jan. 17.