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Wisconsin women’s basketball: UW ends game on brutal scoring drought, loses to NJIT

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The Badgers were leading in the fourth quarter but fell apart late to lose their first game of the season.

@BadgerWBB; Wisconsin Athletics

The Wisconsin Badgers women’s basketball team (1-1 overall, 0-0 Big Ten) dropped their first game of the year, falling 61-49 to NJIT (1-2 overall, 0-0 America East) at home on Sunday afternoon. Freshman Krystyna Ellew, who led the Badgers with 29 points in their season opener, was held scoreless in 29 minutes.

This was a back and forth game that clearly took a toll on the Badgers, as NJIT outscored UW 18-8 in the fourth quarter. Wisconsin was down two points at the end of the third and scored the first two baskets of the fourth to take a 45-43 lead. An immediate collapse ensued.

Following Sara Stapleton’s bucket to give the Badgers their first lead since just before halftime, NJIT went on a 15-0 run giving them a 58-45 lead with 1:16 left to play. Game over. The Badgers’ scoring drought lasted seven minutes and seventeen seconds.

NJIT excelled on the offensive boards resulting in 13 offensive rebounds and 16 second chance points. Head coach Marisa Moseley said, “We’ve got to get way tougher.”

The Badgers were led by junior Sydney Hilliard with 18 points, three rebounds and three assists, as well as junior Sara Stapleton who added 16 points of her own to go along with six rebounds.

If the Badgers want to be successful moving forward, they’re going to need to get more people involved in the offense. Asking one or two players to do over half of the scoring is a recipe for disaster.

As a team, the Badgers shot 33.9% from the field and 17.6% from beyond the arc (0-for-9 in the decisive fourth quarter).

Some other notable stat lines for the Badgers:

  • Graduate transfer Katie Nelson compiled eight points, six assists and three steals.
  • Junior forward Tara Stauffacher added five points.

The Badgers will hit the road for the first time this season this week, heading to Peoria, Ill. to take on Bradley, Friday at 6:30 p.m. CT. The game can be watched on ESPN+.