MADISON – Despite a career high 30 points from senior Marsha Howard, the Wisconsin women’s basketball team was not able to rally from a 16-point deficit, fallying to Michigan, 76-70, in its annual Play4Kay Think Pink game at the Kohl Center.
Wisconsin (11-12, 2-8 BIG) was down by 16 points (65-49) with 7:44 to play in the game before an 8-0 Badger run cut the lead to 65-57 with 4:13 remaining. UW cut the lead to six (69-63) with 2:09 left as the Badgers’ full-court press forced six Michigan turnovers.
Michigan went up by 12 points (75-63) with less than a minute to play before Wisconsin scored seven straights but it was too late as time ran out on the Badgers.
Senior Marsha Howard led the Badgers, scoring a career-high 30 points, with 14 points in the fourth quarter alone. The 6-foot forward also made a career-high 11 free-throws and grabbed nine rebounds. Freshman Imani Lewis shot in double figures, adding 15 points while pulling down seven boards and recording three steals.
Michigan (14-9, 5-6 BIG) was up 17-14 at the end of the first quarter and went on a 6-0 run to start the second period with a 23-14 lead with 8:25 on the clock. The Wolverines outscored the Badgers 15-8 in the second quarter to grab a 10-point lead at the half (32-22).
UW came out strong in the third quarter, cutting the Michigan lead to six (35-29) with 7:47 remaining but a 6-0 Wolverine run over the next 41 seconds put Michigan up 41-29 with 7:06 to play. (41-29) would pull Michigan away again. Wisconsin would get no closer than eight points until late in the fourth quarter.
The Wolverines were led by Naz Hillmon with 20 points and eight rebounds. Hallie Thome chipped in 12 points while Hailey Brown and Nicole Munger both added 10 points for Michigan.
UW shot 40.7 percent (24-59) from the field, including 27.3 percent (3-11) from 3-point range, and 67.9 percent (19-28) from the charity stripe. Michigan shot 53.6 percent (30-56) from the field, with 5-12 (41.7 percent) coming from beyond the arc, and 61.1 percent (11-18) from the free-throw line.
Michigan turned over the ball 14 times while the Badgers only had 12 giveaways. UW scored 15 points off of Michigan turnovers but the Wolverines scored 46 points in the paint compared to 36 for Wisconsin.
UW out-rebounded Michigan, 39-33, behind Howard and Lewis.
The Badgers take a week off and return to action next Sunday at Illinois.
–UW-Madison Athletic Communications