Big Ten play got underway for the Wisconsin Badgers women’s basketball team (2-7, 0-1 Big Ten) on Sunday on the road at Northwestern (6-3, 1-0 Big Ten), and did not go as planned for the Badgers. UW dug themselves into an early hole that they were unable to climb out of, falling 61-49 to the Wildcats.
It is clear that this team lacks depth and asking all of your starters to play upwards of 30 minutes does not seem like a recipe for success. Despite foul trouble, graduate transfer Katie Nelson played all 40 minutes, only attempting three shots. The Badgers received a total of 27 total minutes from their bench, 20 of which were played by sophomore Halle Douglass.
Freshman guard Krystyna Ellew continues to see her minutes decrease, only playing six minutes and scoring no points. Ellew scored 29 points in 35 minutes in the season opener in early November but has not scored more than seven points in a game since.
The Badgers were led by sophomore Brooke Schramek who scored a career-high 18 points on 6-of-9 shooting. Douglass dropped a career-high in points as well with 10 off of the bench. Junior guard Julie Pospisilova was the only other Badger in double figures (12) despite a poor shooting night, 4-of-15 from the field and 1-of-9 from beyond the arc.
Wisconsin trailed 33-18 at halftime but thanks to a run put together by Schramek and junior forward Sara Stapleton, the Badgers were able to draw within single digits, cutting the Northwestern lead to just seven points with over seven minutes to play. Northwestern followed the UW run by putting together a 5-0 run of their own, sealing the victory for the Wildcats.
It’s no secret that this team’s biggest weaknesses are shooting and taking care of the basketball. The Badgers actually shot the ball better than the Wildcats — 37.2% compared to 33.3% — but finished the game with a season-high 23 total turnovers resulting in 21 points for Northwestern. That's the difference between winning and losing.
Marisa Moseley spoke about the team’s struggles following the loss: “I think we struggled a little bit finding outcomes. The pressure hurt us a bit in the first half and I think a lot of it was more things that we did to ourselves as opposed to what Northwestern did to us. I think we started to get in a rhythm a little bit in the second half.”
The Badgers will take on the No. 12 Michigan Wolverines at home on Thursday night.