In their last outing, turnovers and bad shooting in the second half sent Marquette to a blowout loss against Auburn. They were in Madison on Saturday afternoon to face off with Wisconsin in the finale of Badger Hate Week, and another ugly second half ended in another MU loss. The Badgers scored more than 1.5 points per possession after intermission to turn a 3 point halftime lead into an 89-64 win over Marquette. The Badgers move to 2-5 with the win, while the Golden Eagles fall to 2-6 on the season.
It was a pretty even first half, with both teams not shooting particularly well. A layup by UW's Tessa Cichy gave the Badgers a nine point lead with just over eight minutes to play, but Marquette showed some fight. Apiew Ojulu scored seven of her nine first half points after that mark to lead the Golden Eagle charge, and a pair of Arlesia Morse freebies cut it to just one point with 38 seconds left in the half. A jumper from Nicole Bauman gave UW a little bit of breathing room heading to the locker room.
And then the storm hit. Dakota Whyte scored the first four points of the half, and after an Ojulu bucket, the Badgers scored the next six points, too. All of a sudden, it was 47-36 favoring Bucky, and after the Badgers answered a McKayla Yentz bucket on the next possession, Wisconsin would never lead by fewer than 11 again.
The Badgers hit on six of their seven three point attempts in the second half en route to an effective field goal percentage of 73.3% after intermission. When they were missing, they did a good job of cleaning up their mess, grabbing the offensive rebound more than 40% of the time. Meanwhile, Marquette went 1-5 behind the arc and 9-33 overall, and even their eight offensive rebounds couldn't help them fix that problem.
While it was all Badgers in the second half, the good news is that, at least for this game, the Golden Eagles solved their turnover problem. MU committed just 12 turnovers in the game, a season low. Eight of those came out of the hands of Tia Elbert and Shantelle Valentine, who committed four each.
Marquette was led by 13 points from Ojulu, and Arlesia Morse had 11 points and eight rebounds to lead MU on the glass. Four different Badgers scored between 16 and 18 points, with Whyte's 18 topping the team. Whyte also topped the team with seven assists, while Cassie Rochel (9) and Jacki Gulczynski (8) led the rebounding for the Badgers.
Up Next: Finals week = time off. The Golden Eagles will try for their third win of the season when they host Northern Kentucky on Monday, December 15th. The Norse are 4-5 this season after dropping their last two.