In Wisconsin’s third consecutive contest against a conference opponent, Lindsay Whalen and the Minnesota Golden Gophers (9–8, 2–3 Big Ten) defeated Marisa Moseley’s Badgers (3–12, 0–5) 82-66 Jan. 12.

Minnesota came out firing, establishing a 9-0 scoring run within the first five minutes of play off four jump-shots from four different Gophers. Despite the University of Wisconsin hitting five 3-pointers with an impressive 62.5% clip in the opening quarter, the University of Minnesota executed on 12 of 16 field goals to build a 27-21 advantage heading into the second frame.

UW couldn’t buy a bucket in the following period and didn’t scratch the scoresheet until Julie Pospíšilová hit with 4:08 remaining before intermission. Fortunately, both squads combined for 13 total points off a dismal 24% split from the field in the second quarter, so Wisconsin only trailed by nine at the break.

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Whalen’s squad grit its teeth to begin the second half, reaching the free-throw line 12 times in 10 minutes. Though Minnesota shot 33.3% in the third, the Golden Gophers slowed the pace through continuous penetration and aggressiveness, tying the Badgers in the third quarter, scoring 20-20. Psychologically, the Gophers took control of the bout before the final stretch.

U of M built a 7-0 run within the first minute of the fourth, bringing their edge to 16 before an and-one score from Pospíšilová. The Gophers went 10-18 from the floor and 5-8 from outside during the fourth, capping the contest with a 16-point lead.

Though both groups mustered up 61 attempts, Minnesota simply shot the ball more efficiently throughout the match. With 49.2% from the floor and 47.4% from downtown, the Golden Gophers outshot the Badgers by nearly 10% from the field and 7% from three.

U of M claimed 37 rebounds (eight more than UW), earned 17 second-chance points and accounted for 32 points down low. With only 12 giveaways on Wednesday, Minnesota led for over three-quarters of game-time.

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UW freshman Krystyna Ellew shined during the match, executing on a team-leading four looks from outside for 19 total tallies and six boards in her 31 minutes of action. Junior Julie Pospíšilová added 18 points, dished out four assists and grabbed five rebounds with 38% shooting. Sophomore Halle Douglass racked up three field goals, pulled down four misses off the glass and registered a perfect 4-4 effort from the charity stripe over 29 minutes.

For U of M, Kadi Sissoko, a redshirt junior from Paris, France, punched in seven field goals for 16 points, snared eight boards and handed out eight assists in 35 total minutes on the hardwood. Guard Deja Winters dropped 14 points, snatched three loose balls and denied two attempts with 57% shooting from behind-the-arc. Her teammate, Sara Scalia, also managed 14 points in her 31 minutes vs. the Red and White.

Looking ahead, the Badgers face off next against the Scarlet Knights Jan. 16 in Piscataway, New Jersey.