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Wisconsin women’s basketball: mistakes cost Badgers in 88-83 OT loss to Minnesota

Despite shooting nearly 60 percent from the field, crucial turnovers and a costly technical foul doom UW.

Despite a second half comeback and sharp shooting, the Wisconsin Badgers (0-4 Big Ten, 3-4 overall) errors proved costly against the Minnesota Golden Gophers (1-3 Big Ten, 2-4 overall) as they fell in overtime, 88-83, in the annual Border Battle.

The Badgers started off slowly, giving Minnesota a 22-11 cushion after the first quarter. Wisconsin struggled early with turnovers — so far a theme of the season — and finished the half down 11.

In the third quarter, UW started the comeback and were on fire from the field. The Badgers shot 58 percent including 53 percent from beyond the arc. Sophomore guard Julia Pospíšilovà scored a career high 28 points, including five threes, while sophomore guard Sydney Hilley had a double double with 21 points and 11 assists.

Minnesota kept answering the Badgers’ attempt at a comeback, but junior forward Imani Lewis scored with six seconds left to tie the game up at 70 a piece and force overtime.

In overtime, Minnesota again had the fast start, scoring the first seven points in the extra period. UW clawed back and with one minute left, Pospíšilovà hit a three to pull the game to 82-80. But Wisconsin called time out when they had none left, leading to a technical foul which sent Minnesota to the line to salt the game away.

UW once again was pestered by turnovers. Despite holding the Gophers to 39 percent shooting, the Badgers coughed the ball up 21 times to Minnesota’s 10.

Head coach Johnathan Tsipis credited Minnesota’s finish down the stretch, but felt that this game might have slipped away from Wisconsin.

“When you shoot 56.2 percent from the field you should win ball games,” Tsipis said.

Sydney Hilliard liked the fight back shown by Wisconsin, but also said they didn’t need to be in that position because of the early mistakes.

“[If we] fix the stuff in the first half, whether it’s turnovers or boxing out and getting rebounds we wouldn’t have been in that position,” Hilliard said.

The Badgers’ schedule won’t get any easier going forward, as they’ll host No. 15 Northwestern on Wednesday — the first of four straight contests against ranked opponents.