MADISON, Wis. – A late first-half rally had the Wisconsin women's basketball team back in the game against Iowa Sunday afternoon, but a strong second half by the Hawkeyes dealt the Badgers an 82-65 loss at the Kohl Center.
Wisconsin (8-7 overall, 1-2 Big Ten) rallied from a 16-point deficit to get within three of the Hawkeyes, 35-32, heading into the halftime break.
"I don't have eight timeouts to call," said UW head coach Bobbie Kelsey when asked about the Badgers' slow start.
"I can't call a timeout every time they go on a run. I'm not sure why we have those lulls. In my mind, if you're not hitting (your shots), then you've got to turn up your defense. When we're not hitting shots, we don't play solid defense. As individuals, as a group, we've got to figure it out. Because (starting games slowly) is a trend, and it's not a good one."
A 3-pointer from Nicole Bauman at the 17:46 mark in the second half brought the Badgers within one (41-40) but a quick 7-0 run by the Hawkeyes (14-4, 2-2) gave them back the advantage.
The Badgers worked hard to erase Iowa's lead, getting within five, 56-51, with 10:59 remaining before a 14-2 run gave Iowa's its largest lead of the game, 70-53, just past the seven-minute mark. Wisconsin cut the lead to 10 (72-62) with 3:42 to play on a 3 pointer by AnnMarie Brown but would get no closer as UW dropped its second-straight Big Ten Conference game.
Wisconsin finished the game 24-of-60 (40 percent) from the field, shooting 14-of-35 (40 percent) beyond the arc.
Morgan Paige finished the game, sharing game-high honors with 20 points, including a 6-of-6 performance at the free throw line. Michala Johnson netted 16 points, while AnnMarie Brown and Dakota Whyte finished the game with nine.
The Badgers went up against a surging Iowa team, fresh off a win over Minnesota on Wednesday.
"(It was a) tough game for us today," continued Kelsey. "We ran into a team that got hot. I thought our press looked good – Dakota had a couple steals and we (drew) a couple charges and travels. We had to do something to generate some offense. But they did hit their shots and we missed a lot of bunnies around the basket. That's something we've got to work on."
Iowa was led by 20 points from Bethany Doolittle and Ally Disterhoft. Samantha Logic finished the game with 16 points and 11 rebounds, just missing a triple-double with seven assists.