Badger women fall to Hurricanes 67-44 at Miami Invitational
CORAL GABLES, Fla. – Another poor shooting performance caused the Wisconsin women's basketball team the championship of the Miami Holiday Invitational on Saturday night. The Badgers lost to host Miami 67-44 to finish second in the tournament.
"We just didn't hit open shots," said UW head coach Bobbie Kelsey. "We had them. We just didn't hit them."
Wisconsin (8-5) shot a season-low 24.1 percent (14-of-58) from the field and was outrebounded 59-31, its greatest rebounding deficit of the season. The Hurricanes (10-2), which receive votes in both national polls, shot 38.5 percent (25-of-65) from the field and had three players score in double figures.
"We're not a big team and they are big," said Kelsey. "It's hard to box those ladies out the whole game. We didn't do a great job of boxing them out but when you're little and you got big mommas in, it's tough.
"I thought our zone in the beginning of the game really helped us. We got out of position in some places but they hit come incredible shots."
The Badgers went to a zone defense to slow the play of Miami's inside game, which included 6-6 center Shawnice Wilson. Wilson finished with a game-high 12 rebounds while tournament most valuable player Stefanie Yderstrom finished with a game-high 18 points.
"But their bigs didn't go off, really it was their guards that hit the majority of their shots and you have to give up something," said Kelsey. "We didn't want their bigs to get going on the inside and we took a chance that they would miss some of those threes but they hit them.
"If they don't hit, it might have been a different game. But they did hit some threes and we were right there in their face some of the times but they still hit them. We knew would give up something but in a zone, you give up a lot more rebounds than you want but you pick your poison."
The Badgers zone defense kept them in the game early as the two teams were tied at 12 with 14:08 to play in the first half. Miami led 16-12 with 12:34 to go and neither team scored until Jacki Gulczynski hit a jumper with 8:38 to play to pull UW within two.
The Hurricanes went on an 11-0 run to take a 27-14 lead before Wisconsin ended the rally with another jumper by Gulczynski at 2:47. Miami ended the half on a 22-4 run over the final 12:33 of the period and also scored the first four points of the second half to take a 38-16 lead with 17:09 to play. Poor shooting continued to plague the Badgers as they could never get back into the game.
"We're not going to be 100 percent all the time," said Kelsey of her team's shooting. "I though yesterday, we shot very well and then you come back today, with back-to-back games, and you have to play these big mommas and its tough.
"Our kids are confident. They know they're going to know those shots down. I told them to keep shooting and they are going to fall eventually. "
Gulczynski earned her first all-tournament honor, scoring a team-high 16 points. She was the only Badger in double figures as Morgan Paige, who was also named to the all-tournament team, failed to score in double figures for the first time this season with nine points. Dakota Whyte added eight points for the Badgers.
Cassie Rochel led UW with nine rebounds while Gulczynski (6) and Tiera Stephen (5) added significant boards. Rochel also had all five of the Badgers' blocks.
The Badgers recorded fewer turnovers than the Hurricanes (17-14) while both teams dished off 13 assists.
Wisconsin opens Big Ten Conference play on Wednesday, traveling to Nebraska for a 7 p.m. game from Lincoln, Neb.
Asked how she felt her team played during the non-conference season, Kelsey replied, "I'm very pleased with our play. Obviously, at this time last year we weren't anywhere near this number for wins. We're always looking to improve. That's what you're really hoping for.
"We're going to be okay. We're giving these young ones a chance to get some experience even though you're losing some games you don't want to lose. You have to play who you have and they're doing a good job."
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