Hill leads No. 9 OSU women past Wisconsin, 77-61
For the second straight game, Wisconsin faded in the second half against a ranked team, this time losing 77-61 to No. 9 Ohio State Friday night in the Big Ten opener for both teams.
"We're tired of moral victories," said Wisconsin's Taylor Wurtz. "We want to get the 'W.'"
Last week, the Badgers (4-9) led No. 18 Wisconsin-Green Bay 34-28 at the half only to score just 15 in the second half and lose 65-49. This time, Ohio State (14-0) led 38-37 at the half after the Badgers came out uncharacteristically hot from the floor.
The Badgers have struggled offensively over their last four games, averaging less than 49 points and shooting 36 percent from the floor.
But Wisconsin shot 44 percent from the floor in the first half, including 6 of 13 from 3-point range, and trailed 38-37 at the break.
Then the Badgers reverted back to their bad old ways, and Ohio State found its form.
The Buckeyes reeled off a 20-2 run to open the second half, pushing their lead to 58-39 to take control. The Badgers were just 1 of 11 from the field in that spurt and committed four turnovers.
Wisconsin was able to cut it back to 10 points at 60-50, but didn't get any closer. After shooting so well from behind the arc in the first half, the Badgers were just 2 of 7 in the second.
Wurtz and Ashley Thomas scored 10 points apiece to lead the Badgers.
"We were much more aggressive, post players much more aggressive getting out and setting guards higher," Ohio State coach Jim Foster said. "They were not getting the same looks."
Tayler Hill scored 21 points to lead Ohio State, while Samantha Prahalis added 12 points and 11 assists. Ashley Adams finished with 14 points, while Amber Stokes added 10.
The Buckeyes had the success when they consistently pushed the ball inside, finishing with 38 points in the paint to 16 for Wisconsin.
Wisconsin coach Bobbie Kelsey said it wasn't that Ohio State was posting up as much as the Buckeyes were able to penetrate the lane, effectively work back door cuts and drive around Badger defenders.
"You can't give them everything they want," she said. "If you sit back, they're going to shoot it. If you don't, they're going to go around you."