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Madison, Wis. – Nebraska got a driving layup from Nicea Eliely with 0.7 seconds left to give the Huskers a 69-67 lead, but Wisconsin’s Kelly Karlis knocked down a three-pointer from the corner as time expired to allow the Badgers to escape with a 70-69 women’s basketball win at the Kohl Center on Sunday afternoon.
Karlis, who gave the Badgers just their second three-pointer of the game, caught the ball in the corner and reset her feet before loading up her three, but the shot was confirmed as a made three to give Wisconsin its second Big Ten win. Karlis finished with eight points, including six during UW’s 13-2 surge in the game’s final four minutes.
Eliely, who finished with 12 points, five rebounds and five steals, had a three-pointer at the buzzer to end the first quarter wiped off after it was originally counted following her steal with two seconds left.
Those shots were enough to make a difference in what was an evenly played game across most categories, although the only time Nebraska trailed in the contest was at the final buzzer. The Huskers slipped to 4-5 in the Big Ten and 9-11 overall, while Wisconsin improved to 11-10 and 2-7 in the league.
Taylor Kissinger led the Huskers with 15 points, including a trio of three-pointers, while going 5-for-7 overall from the field. Fellow sophomore Kate Cain contributed her best offensive performance of Big Ten play with 14 points to go along with seven rebounds, one block and a steal. Cain and Kissinger combined for Nebraska’s first 10 points of the fourth quarter to help the Huskers build a 60-53 edge after leading just 51-49 at the end of three periods.
Junior Hannah Whitish, a Wisconsin native, added 12 points including her fourth three-pointer of the contest with 6:55 left to extend NU’s margin to 63-53. Whitish also dished out seven assists in the game.
But the Huskers got just two field goals the rest of the way, as Wisconsin stormed back to tie the score at 67 with 1:01 left on a pair of Niya Beverley free throws. In the fourth quarter, Wisconsin hit 8-of-10 free throws, including its final six. The Badgers went 14-for-20 from the line in the game, after entering the game at just 52 percent from the line for the season.
Beverley finished with 10 points, five assists and four steals, while Karlis added eight points and four steals of her own as those two Badgers combined for UW’s final eight points. For the game, Marsha Howard led Wisconsin with 18 points and seven rebounds, while Imani Lewis added 17 points and seven boards.
As a team, Nebraska hit 44.3 percent (27-61) of its shots from the field, including 30.4 percent (7-23) of its threes. The Huskers also went 8-for-9 at the free throw line. Both teams committed 18 turnovers in the game, and Nebraska outscored UW in points of turnovers 18-15.
However, Wisconsin won the battle of the boards 34-33, including 19-10 in the second half that included eight offensive rebounds after Nebraska dominated the first-half glass. UW outscored the Huskers 15-13 in second-chance points for the game, including 11-0 in the second half.
After building a 43-29 lead early in the third quarter, Nebraska watched Wisconsin storm back to win the period 22-12. The Huskers committed eight turnovers in the quarter after committing just seven in the first half. The Huskers also gave up four offensive boards in the third period that Wisconsin turned into seven second-chance points.
Nebraska performed well in all areas in the first half, building a 39-27 halftime lead. The Huskers used a dominant performance on the glass to put up 13 second-chance points off 11 offensive rebounds. NU outscored Wisconsin 13-4 in the second-chance category in the half, while also outscoring the Badgers 7-5 in points off turnovers, nearly accounting for Nebraska’s 12-point halftime lead in those two hustle categories.
Whitish led the Huskers with nine first-half points on a trio of three-pointers, while Eliely sparked the Huskers with eight points on 4-of-5 shooting. She also grabbed three first-half steals. Kissinger also contributed eight points – all in a 58 second span in the second quarter to give NU its largest lead of the half at 31-17 with 3:32 left.
Brown pitched in five first-half points, while Cain contributed four points, five rebounds and a steal in the half. Haiby did not score, but she did come up with five big rebounds including four on the offensive end.
As a team, Nebraska hit 41.7 percent (15-36) of its first-half shots, including 5-of-17 threes (.294), while going 4-for-5 at the line. The Huskers out-rebounded UW 23-15 in the half, and won the turnover battle 10-7.
Howard led the Badgers with 10 points, five rebounds and two blocks in the half, and Wisconsin hit 45.8 percent (11-24) of its first-half shots. Wisconsin went 0-for-4 from three-point range and 5-for-10 at the free throw line.
The Huskers continue their two-game Big Ten road swing Thursday night when they travel to West Lafayette, Ind., to battle Purdue. Tip-off between the Big Red and the Boilermakers from Mackey Arena is set for 7 p.m. (CT) with live television coverage from the Big Ten Network. Free live audio will be provided by the Husker Sports Network on Huskers.com starting at 6:45 p.m.