Badgers hold Moses in check
Thursday night’s women’s game didn’t go the way the Badgers had hoped it would. The Purdue Boilermakers overtook the Wisconsin Badgers in a 48-58 win, but the loss didn’t mean the Badgers didn’t do a few things right.
The Badgers did in fact hold the lead for a majority of the first half, ending the half with a 28-20 lead.
Wisconsin held junior guard Courtney Moses, Purdue’s usual leading scorer, averaging about 12 points per a game, to only two points the whole game. It wasn’t until there were six minutes left in the first half that Moses scored a layup, as junior guard Morgan Paige played tight defense to keep Moses from shooting and scoring for the Boilermakers.
Wisconsin head coach Bobbie Kelsey definitely noticed the hold they had on Moses’ shots, as she attempted just three shots and scored two points the entire game.
“We took care of Moses,” Kelsey said. The Badgers continued to hold Moses by not allowing her to even get a shot the second half.
Even though Wisconsin held Moses to only two points, it didn’t stop KK Houser from stepping up. Houser scored 20 of the 58 points for the Boilermakers, leading all scorers on the night.
“KK played a heck of a game tonight and took it to another level,” Purdue head coach Sharon Versyp said. “For us it was very important to shoot the ball better in the second half. KK got the tide going our way in the second half.”
“We weren’t there quick enough, and we were standing right in front of Houser,” Kelsey said. “Houser proved that she was on top of her shots the second half.
Gulczynski foul trouble costly in second half collapse
Houser’s shooting wasn’t the only set back the Badgers saw in the second half. With 11 minutes left in the second half, Jacki Gulczynski was already on her fourth foul. Wisconsin’s dynamic forward picked up three of her four fouls in the second half, forcing Kelsey to cautiously bench her player during crunch time.
“We depend on Jacki a lot and she knows she has to stay in the game.” Kelsey said.
“I felt like we needed to take advantage of [Jacki] being out,” Purdue guard Drey Mingo said.
And the Boilermakers did just that in the five minutes Gulczynski spent on the bench after her fourth foul, going on a 7-0 run to capture the lead and never giving it back to the Badgers throughout the game.
“[Jacki’s] a key player and the one who’s so tough to guard because she’s a post player and it’s hard for post players to guard someone who shoots the three so well,” Versyp said. “She’s really savvy and really, really good.”
Despite her foul trouble, Gulczynski remained the leading scorer for the Badgers in Thursday night’s loss, leading the team with 19 points on the night. If she wouldn’t have picked up an early fourth foul, the game may have had a different outcome with the way the forward was playing.
But Purdue was more than happy to seize the opportunity.
“When we got the fourth foul on her it was huge, because in the zone we were trying to attack her quite a bit because we know how valuable she is,” Versyp said.
Rochel erases Purdue shots
Despite Gulcynski’s unwanted time on the bench, Wisconsin junior center Cassie Rochel was blocking Purdue as best as she could. Not only did Rochel lead the team in blocks in the game, she set a personal high, knocking down seven shots.
Rochel was not overly ecstatic with her personal record.
“I don’t want to be too confident,” Rochel said. “I know a lot of these blocks tonight could have been fouls and with Jacki sitting on the bench, I can’t really risk it. I’m still trying to work on my timing like coach wants me to by not coming down and into their hands but rather wait until it’s in the air and alter their shot more.”