The Wisconsin women’s basketball team fell to Northwestern 70-67 on Sunday afternoon.
In UW’s first game back in conference play after a victory over Valpo, the Badgers suffered a loss in a tightly contested battle. Freshman Serah Williams led the way for Wisconsin but went down with an injury early in the fourth, allowing Northwestern to take and sustain a lead.
The Badgers now fall to 7-15 overall and 2-8 in conference play. Here are three things that stood out in Sunday’s loss.
Serah Williams did it all for Wisconsin women’s basketball
Williams, a freshman out of New York, came to play on Sunday. The 6-foot-4 forward put on an offensive showcase with a team-high 21 points. On top of that, Northwestern couldn’t slow her down on the boards, as she notched seven rebounds.
Williams was coming off an excellent showing against Valpo, where she posted a team-high 18 points. The young forward continues to make strides in her play, making her one of the Badgers best options for the future.
Although UW couldn’t take the win, Williams put together a great game. If she can continue building on this stretch of excellent performances, Wisconsin will get back into the win column.
Wisconsin lost the battle of the boards
Although the rebounding battle was nearly even, Northwestern was all over the offensive boards.
The Wildcats finished the game with 37 total rebounds to the Badgers’ 33. However, Northwestern secured a whopping 18 offensive rebounds. “We were just disconnected from their bodies, not boxing out,” coach Marisa Moseley told BadgerNotes.
“They don’t shoot at a high percentage, so (Northwestern) knows they need to focus on the offensive boards. We discussed and prepared for that, but they took advantage of their second chance opportunities”.
Wisconsin’s poor defensive rebounding was a significant factor in the loss, giving them something to work on before their matchup against No. 2 Ohio State.
Northwestern’s defensive adjustments cause trouble for Wisconsin women’s basketball
After the first half, the Badgers led 39-26. Northwestern played man for much of the first half and even some of the second half. However, when the Wildcats switched to zone coverage, the wheels began to fall off for the Badgers.
“The transition from man to zone was tough for me,” guard Avery LaBarbera said.
After Northwestern made the switch, they quickly shut down the Badgers and went on a 17-2 run. Wisconsin could not work around the Wildcats’ stifling defense and eventually suffered a loss.
Wisconsin was in striking distance for much of the game, but Northwestern’s formidable defense and the adjustments made were the downfalls for UW.
Wisconsin women’s basketball (7-15, 2-8 Big Ten) will take on No. 2 Ohio State on Wednesday, February 1st, at the Kohl Center.
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