The University of Wisconsin women’s basketball team scratched and clawed their way to a low-scoring victory 53-41 over Rutgers University Saturday. The Badgers won, but the game was far from an offensive clinic.
Both squads shot poorly throughout the game and struggled to find an offensive rhythm. The shooting percentages were not pretty on either side, with UW going 36.1 percent from the floor and Rutgers shooting 27.1 percent.
Women’s basketball: Badgers desperate for a win with Rutgers in the crosshairsThe University of Wisconsin women’s basketball team (6-20, 1-12 Big Ten) will square off against Rutgers University (6-20, 3-10) in Read…
UW won the 3-point shooting battle, edging the Scarlet Knights from the arc by 7.5 percent. This deep ball was one of the keys that propelled the Badgers to victory.
The Badgers doubled Rutgers’ 3-point total, connecting on six shots compared to three for Rutgers. The Badgers found their real offensive advantage, however, at the free throw line. UW went 21 for 27 from the charity stripe while Rutgers finished 12 for 16 from the line.
That three-basket advantage from beyond the 3-point line and 9 more points generated by free throws made up for a sloppy night with plenty of turnovers.
The Badgers and the Scarlet Knights both struggled to contain their turnovers as they each logged more than 20 by the final whistle. Free throws and 3-pointers allowed UW the victory.
The Badgers’ effort on defense, however, shouldn’t be overlooked.
UW held Rutgers’ leading scorer, Shrita Parker, to 16 points on 5 for 16 shooting. The Badgers knew coming in that Parker was the engine for the Scarlet Knights’ offense, and if they could contain her they could also stymie their opponent’s entire offensive attack.
Only one other Rutgers player had more than 11 points, as the Badgers did a good job creating turnovers and disrupting offensive flow.
Avayana Young’s and Cayla McMorris’ strong performances led the UW offense. Young led the Badgers in scoring with 14 points while also contributing six rebounds. McMorris, the only other Badger in double digits, scored 10 points.
Bench production was another offensive key for the Badgers as four bench players combined for 16 points. The Rutgers bench only had 5 points.
Despite losing both the turnover and rebounding battles, UW still had enough of an offense push to finish on top. They did not let turnovers beat them the way they have in other games this season.
Following the win against Rutgers, UW only has two Big Ten games left. The first comes Wednesday at home against Illinois, and the second will be played Sunday against Iowa on the road. Wednesday’s game against Illinois tips at the Kohl Center at 7 p.m.