The Wisconsin Badgers women’s basketball team was dominated by the Michigan Wolverines on Saturday afternoon to drop their season record to .500. The Badgers were fully healthy, but it didn’t matter against a Wolverines team that forced a ton of turnovers and hit the offensive glass hard. Here is the full recap:
Wisconsin Badgers WBB Suffers Blowout Loss to Michigan
Wisconsin Badgers (8-8 overall, 1-5 Big Ten): 52
Michigan Wolverines (12-5 overall, 3-2 Big Ten): 76
Turnover%: 43.1 (woof)
Off. Rebound%: 25.0
FG%: 48.7 (19-of-39)
Opp. FG%: 39.7 (29-of-73)
3P%: 35.3 (6-of-17)
Opp. 3P%: 33.3 (6-of-18)
FT%: 72.7 (8-of-11)
Opp. FT%: 54.5 (12-of-22)
Points Per Possession: 0.800
Opponent Points Per Possession: 1.134
Rebounds: 32 (five offensive)
Opponent Rebounds: 37 (22 offensive)
Forced Turnovers: seven
— Wisconsin Women’s Basketball (@BadgerWBB) January 13, 2024
- Halle Douglass: six points (2-of-2 FG, 2-of-2 3P), four rebounds, -15
- Serah Williams: 11 points (4-of-10 FG), 11 rebounds (one offensive), two blocks, -19
- Sania Copeland: eight points (3-of-4 FG, 2-of-3 3P), one rebound, one assist, -24
- Natalie Leuzinger: five points (2-of-3 FG, 0-of-1 3P), three rebounds (two offensive), four assists, one steal, -20
Michigan Team Leaders
- Laila Phelia: 17 points (7-of-9 FG, 1-of-2 3P), three rebounds (one offensive), two assists, one steal, +29
- Cameron Williams: 16 points (6-of-15 FG), 10 rebounds (eight offensive), one assist, +13
Three-ish Thoughts on the Wisconsin Badgers WBB Loss to Michigan
1. I wouldn’t say that the Badgers have been “good” at protecting the ball this year, but they hadn’t been “awful” yet either. On Saturday afternoon, they were awful. Wisconsin turned the ball over 28 times against Michigan which came out to over 40% of their possessions. It was a season-high (low?) mark for UW and scuttled any chance they had of beating the Wolverines.
They started off the game with nine first quarter turnovers and didn’t look back from there. They had a perfectly balanced 14 turnovers in each half and 11 of the 12 players who saw the court managed to cough the ball up at least once. Shoutout to Imbie Jones who played two minutes and didn’t record a statistic of any kind. Sometimes NOT having your name in the box score is a good thing I guess.
The third quarter ended, things aren’t going better for the Badgers
— Basketball Fan of maybe the Sixers (@drewhamm5) January 13, 2024
D’Yanis Jimenez had a particularly frustrating game, turning the ball over seven times and racking up four fouls in only 12 minutes of playing time. As a comparison, Michigan had seven turnovers TOTAL in the game. Serah Williams had six turnovers, Tessa Grady had four, and Ronnie Porter had three for UW while Lauren Hansen “led” the way for UM with three of her own.
It was truly a cavalcade of Wisconsin players lining up to make the next boneheaded play all game. I felt physically pained watching some of their possessions so I can’t even imagine how the players and coaches felt. Turnovers have been a big problem for UW under Marisa Moseley and here in year three of her tenure, it still hasn’t been addressed suitably.
2. A fun, recent trend that the Badgers have been participating in is: give up so many offensive rebounds that it doesn’t matter how well you shoot on offense, you’re still going to lose. Wisconsin allowed Michigan to rebound nearly 45% of their misses which, somehow, isn’t UW’s worst mark of the season. The Wolverines attacked the glass with abandon and ended up scoring 25 second chance points.
Cameron Williams was especially effective down low, hauling in eight of her 10 rebounds on the offensive end. Four other Wolverines had two-plus o-boards on the game and, outside of Serah Williams and Halle Douglass, no one on Wisconsin really put up a fight to stop Michigan on the glass.
Two of Wiscosin’s three worst defensive rebounding games have come in their last two games (and their worst one was two weeks ago in the blowout loss to Purdue) and you can pretty easily see it getting even worse as they continue through conference play. The Badgers are now giving up an average of 13.5 offensive rebounds per game which puts them at 310th in the country.
Rebounding isn’t all about who the tallest is (see: Porter, Ronnie) but height certainly CAN help poor rebounding teams do better. It is beyond frustrating to see Wisconsin’s two tallest backups (Sacia Vanderpool and Tessa Towers) Gorilla Glued to the bench in games like this because, quite frankly, what the hell would be the harm in seeing if they can’t grab a few boards in a blowout? Vaderpool has already redshirted and we haven’t heard that Towers is this season sooooooooo why aren’t they playing? It’s troubling on multiple levels (either it’s poor evaluation on the staff’s part; poor development by the staff; neither player has earned the trust of the coaches) and I doubt we’ll get any answers.
3. The funny thing (in a “if I don’t laugh I’ll cry” kind of way) is that the Badgers actually shot the ball well on Saturday. They were better than Michigan in FG%, 3P%, and FT%! Hell, UW almost shot 50% from the field and STILL got their doors blown off. You’ve probably already put this together, because you’re smart and good looking, but due to all of the turnovers and offensive rebounds, Michigan attempted 34 (!!!) more field goals than Wisconsin did.
It doesn’t matter how well or poorly you shoot if the other team almost doubles you up on field goal attempts!
4. In good news, Brooke Schramek was back with the team after missing two games and the Badgers are back at full strength moving forward. Neither Schramek nor Jimenez were particularly effective against Michigan, but it’ll probably take a couple of games to get them back in the swing of things. For a team that plays a short bench, having their full complement of players available is a necessity.
Williams getting it done at the rim😎 pic.twitter.com/IA5sgolpC8
— Wisconsin Women’s Basketball (@BadgerWBB) January 13, 2024
5. I liked Natalie Leuzinger’s passing, she regularly makes the right read with the ball even if she’s being pressured; freshman Ana Guillen made her first career three-pointer; Williams recorded her sixth double-double of the season
This was a dreadful and disheartening game. I thought taking some time away from my laptop would allow me to get to a more positive place for this recap…but it did not. Let’s get a couple of truths out of the way first so we’re all on the same page:
- Michigan is a better team than Wisconsin by every conceivable metric
- Michigan should not be embarrassing Wisconsin like they did on Saturday
Go back to the end of last season with me for a moment. The Badgers were hosting No. 12 Michigan on Senior Day at the Kohl Center and needed an upset win to earn a first round bye in the Big Ten Tournament. The Wolverines were without Leigha Brown, but still entered the game as big favorites. However, the Badgers were tied with Michigan after the first quarter, leading by one at halftime, leading by three entering the fourth quarter, and ended up winning by eight.
It was a statement win for Marisa Moseley’s squad and something to build on moving forward. It was their third straight win to end the season and, after a heart-breaking, buzzer-beating loss to Purdue in the BTT, had fans hopeful that year three under Moseley could (would??) be different.
Well, things didn’t go exactly as planned in the offseason. UW lost supposed backcourt cornerstone Maty Wilke, among others, to the transfer portal and then declined to bring anyone in via the portal. Moseley then had to completely revamp her staff with three new assistant coaches, which assuredly hindered their recruiting ability throughout the summer. Then a large freshman class was welcomed to campus and, while many of them have contributed already, the top-ranked member of the class (Imbie Jones) barely gets any playing time and a few others have seen their minutes fluctuate with limited reason why.
I’m done with the excuses. This program should be in a better place right now.
End of story.
— Badger WBB HQ (@BadgerWBBHQ) January 13, 2024
The Badgers, for as doom and gloom as this post is, HAVE been better this year. They played well in their non-conference schedule, sophomore point guard Ronnie Porter has made a huge leap in her second year, true freshman guard D’Yanis Jimenez has been an offensive revelation, and Serah Williams is making her move towards being one of the best bigs in the country. But there are still problems. Too many problems to be quite honest.
Wisconsin doesn’t have Big Ten-level depth. They don’t have Big Ten-level size. They don’t have Big Ten-level athletes either. They play on such a razor’s edge for success that if even one little thing goes wrong, they’re cooked. Before Wisconsin restarted Big Ten play against Purdue back on Dec. 30 I noted that their next four games (at Purdue, vs. Nebraska, at Illinois, vs. Northwestern) were all winnable and, technically, against teams below them in the standings.
Moseley has done things in the wrong order. Utilize the portal and only bring in FY players that meet a high standard. No 3-4 year projects. Then, as the team improves, work to become a program that brings in FY players that stay for 4-5 years. FY players that come in…
— Double Deuce (@mustang1brady) January 13, 2024
To have an outside chance of being considered for a WNIT bid they needed to go 2-2 at worst. Instead, they got eviscerated by Purdue, lost a heartbreaker to Nebraska, looked good in a win at Illinois, and finally they shit the bed in a home loss to Northwestern. They needed to make a statement against Michigan. A statement that this wasn’t the “same old Wisconsin” and that they were going to be a tough out no matter the opponent. Well, they did the opposite of that and unless major changes are made on the fly, this appears to be another bottom-of-the-barrel UW team that will have posed more questions than they answered.
Anyways, at least they can try and bounce back next week against…oh, COME ON!
Next Game: Tuesday, Jan. 16; at No. 3 Iowa Hawkeyes; 8:00 p.m. CT; Peacock; Carver-Hawkeye Arena; Iowa City, Iowa
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