Sloppy execution, inconsistency plague Badgers in underwhelming road loss to Penn State
Senior forward Marsha Howard will need to play well early to spark the Badgers as they look to halt a losing streak.Image By: Cameron Lane-Flehinger
The Wisconsin Badgers underwhelmed on the road as they fall to the Penn State Lady Lions (1-2 Big Ten, 8-6 overall) 64-71. With this setback, their second loss in three games, the Badgers droped to 10-5 overall and 1-2 in Big Ten play.
Wisconsin’s awkward style of play carried over from fourth quarter of its previous game as the Badgers made only one of their first 10 field goal attempts and stumbled to an 3-11 deficit. Players often fired too strong off the glass as poor execution plagued the Badgers early. Down but not out, the unlikely trio of sophomore Niyah Beverley, junior Abby Laszewski and sophomore spark beyond the arc Alex Luehring orchestrated a 16-5 run as the Lady Lions loosened on defense and froze on offense. This pulled the Badgers to an unexpected 19-15 lead as the first quarter drew to a close.
Beginning in the second quarter, Laszewski continued her hot streak with three more layups and a block, and received aid from junior Suzanne Gilreath whose corner three propelled Wisconsin to a 30-26 advantage roughly half way through the quarter. Despite this, the Lady Lions superstar senior Teniya Page brought her team back with layups, floaters and threes as no part of the court was safe from her sharpshooting. With this momentum, Penn State was able to jump out to a 36-31 lead as the first half drew to a close.
The Badgers continued their pattern of third-quarter surges, albeit this time less prominently, with an 8-2 run featuring Marsha Howard finally surfacing after a weak first few minutes. Add in a couple of free throws by senior Kelly Karlis, who made no field goal attempts on the night, and a circus shot by freshman Imani Lewis, and the Badgers were right back in the game with a 39-38 lead. Competitive as ever, Penn State then unleashed sophomore Kamaria McDaniel and freshman Lauren Ebo as the two combined to rattle off a 11-4 run, but the Badgers’ efforts were enough to cut the gap to two, and they trailed 47-49 as the third quarter drew to a close.
In the fourth quarter, Penn State pulled away as Wisconsin struggled heavily from the field — making only one of its first eight shots and the Lions’ Taniya Page ignited a free throw hot streak in which she made ten straight attempts to finish out the game. Any hope for a late comeback was undone when senior Marsha Howard was fouled late on a rebound late in the game with the Badgers down by four, and so began the failed miracle attempt of winning through fouls. All this and more was enough to drop the Badgers in a 64-71 loss to the Lady Lions.
Afterwards, coach Jonathan Tsipis cited the team’s failure to execute on shots and rebounding alongside with the bench’s lack of production as the major causes of Thursday’s road defeat. The search for that elusive second road win continues as the Badgers face the Iowa Hawkeyes next in their upcoming road affair.Subscribe to The Daily Cardinal Newsletter