While the University of Wisconsin women’s basketball team’s loss to University of North Carolina 72-59 Thursday was their sixth of the year, the team took a big step forward against a dominant Tar Heel squad. The Badgers now sit at 3-6 on the year, but they have won two of their last three games.
Things looked to be getting off to an inauspicious start for Wisconsin as UNC came out of the gates hot, outscoring Wisconsin by 22 in the first half. North Carolina guard Paris Kea led the way in the first half of play. She was perfect from the field, converting on five of five attempts and adding four rebounds, three assists and five steals.
But a new Badger team came out in the latter half. Ayanna Young took over in the third quarter, playing like the redshirt senior she is. She scored eight in the quarter and came away with five boards to help the surging Badgers put the Heels on their heels in the second half.
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Young ended the game as the leader in rebounds and recorded her third double-double this season. Not everything improved for the Badgers come the second half because they shot 22 percent from three on the game and a mere 18 percent in the second half. This was not nearly enough to keep up with three point extraordinaire Stephanie Watts, who hit six threes in her 38 minutes.
The two teams’ different play styles were quite apparent throughout the tilt yesterday with UNC only playing seven players for 10 minutes, and the Badgers employed 10. This showed up in the form of bench support for Wisconsin, who dominated that facet of the game and outscored the Heels by 24 in bench points.
The Badgers also led in rebounds and points in the paint, but it still wasn’t enough to make up for their inefficient shooting. Though the Badgers grabbed four more offensive boards, the Tar Heels ultimately scored seven more points on second chances.
Badger Cayla McMorris will attempt to extend her season-long double-digit point streak to 10 games against Idaho University at home Tuesday.