The University of Wisconsin women’s basketball team (5-18, 0-10 Big Ten) couldn’t buy themselves a sorely needed win on Saturday, getting trampled by Ohio State (21-5, 11-1 Big Ten) 96-68 at the Kohl Center.
Wisconsin has now blown a whopping 10 in a row, with their home record dropping to 2-10 on the year. As demoralizing as this already is, the vast majority of their recent losses haven’t even been close.
OSU entered Saturday’s match up ranked AP No. 14 in the nation and are sitting pretty in the conference standings. At 11-1 in Big Ten play, the Buckeyes only trail undefeated Maryland for the top spot in the conference.
OSU’s leading scorer, Kelsey Mitchell, also leads the conference in points per game (23.2), and did not disappoint against the Badgers. It was business as usual for the junior guard and 2015 Big Ten Player of the Year as she scored 32 of her team’s points on six three-pointers and an outstanding 11-for-13 in field goals. Mitchell also totaled four assists and one steal in 25 minutes.
Wisconsin’s leading scorer, on the other hand, had herself quite the unusual outing. Junior guard Cayla McMorris continued to distance herself from the dry spell she experienced in January. She tied Suzanne Gilreath for a team-high 14 points that came entirely from the free throw line.
McMorris came up short on each of her nine attempted field goals but did not squander a single free throw attempt, sinking all of her 14 tries. In fact, success at the free throw line was contagious for the Badgers as they hit their mark 86.1 percent of the time.
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The points off turnover differential was symptomatic of the Buckeyes’ landslide victory. OSU more than tripled Wisconsin’s statistical earnings in that category, dumping in 31 points off of Wisconsin’s 19 giveaways.
Second-chance points certainly had their influence on the outcome as well, as OSU scored 19 while Wisconsin only collected seven. The second-most prolific scoring offense in the conference did most of their damage in the paint as the Buckeyes pounded the lane with 38 points coming from the interior.
Although easier said than done, at this point the Badgers just need to piece it all together. They’ve demonstrated all kinds of critical improvements over the course of their losing streak. Now it’s time they incorporate all they’ve learned so as to begin climbing their way out of the abyss that has been these last few months.
This week Wisconsin stays home for another Big Ten match up, this time with Nebraska on Thursday at the Kohl Center. The game is set to tip at 7 p.m. and will air on BTN Plus.