Wisconsin women lose a heartbreaker to Purdue

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - MARCH 02: (Photo by David Berding/Getty Images)
MINNEAPOLIS, MN - MARCH 02: (Photo by David Berding/Getty Images) /

In true March Madness fashion, there were two 3-pointers in the final 11 seconds. Sadly, the last one that fell was from Purdue, putting them ahead 57-55 with 7 seconds left. A last-second running three-point attempt by Wisconsin’s Matyson Wilke was no good and Purdue won.

Wisconsin women heated up pretty fast

The only thing that went right for Purdue in the first quarter was winning the jump ball. The Lady Badgers started the scoring, with Serah Williams going 1-for-2 from the foul line. That would be the only scoring for the first three minutes, as teams combined for eight missed shots, seven of which came from the Lady Boilermakers.

Julie Pospisilova scored the first basket of the game with a layup and, as she has done many times this season, hoisted the team on her back. The team responded by going 7-13 from the floor and two for three beyond the arc. They led 17-7 after the first quarter.

The tide slowly starts to turn in the 2nd quarter

When the 2nd quarter started, it looked more of the same, as a Ronnie Porter 3-pointer at the 4:33 mark in the second quarter made it a 30-12 game. Purdue looked in danger of getting run out of the building.

Instead, the Lady Badgers, who had been en fuego for the last 12 minutes, turned to ice and failed to score for the final 4:33 of the half.

At that time, Purdue started their way back by going on a 9-0 run.

Still, going into the second half, the Lady Badgers had a comfortable 30-21 lead.

Wisconsin women ran out of steam

At the start of the 3rd quarter, it looked like the Lady Badgers were going to reclaim their dominant lead, going back up 41-30 at the 6:06 mark on one of Matyson Wilke’s five 3-pointers on the evening.

In a replica of the second quarter, Wisconsin was shut out for the remainder of the quarter and the Lady Boilermakers scored the final eight in the period, making the score 41-38 into the fourth.

Purdue took their first lead of the ball game with 3:15 left in the game. Their largest lead in the entire contest was only four points at the 2:30 mark in the fourth.

At 2:11, Williams cut the lead back down to two. Neither team scored for the next two minutes.

With 16 seconds left, Matyson Wilke was able to lock up the ball, and with Wisconsin possession, they called a timeout.

The play Coach Marisa Moseley worked to perfection and Wilke drained the 3, giving the Lady Badgers the 55-54 lead with 11 seconds left.

Unfortunately, Purdue’s Jayla Smith sunk her own 3-point shot and the Lady Boilermakers reclaimed the lead, 57-55.

With seven ticks remaining, Wisconsin brought the ball up and Wilke had a running 3-point attempt that didn’t go in.

Wisconsin women should be a force next season

I know it sounds cliche, but the Lady Badgers really did improve in the second half of the season. When these two squads met on New Year’s Day, it was a 76-61 Boilermaker victory.

The Lady Badgers had won four out of the last five games coming into the Big Ten tourney, the last of which was their signature win of the season against #12-ranked Michigan.

Coach Moseley’s recruiting brought in Serah Williams and she responded by being the leading rebounder on the team and second in scoring. Next year’s class looks just as promising.

When Brooke Schramek had tears in her eyes after fouling out late in the game, I found a couple of tears had crept up in my eyes.

I know it might not be much consolation now, but it looks as though the Wisconsin women are 100% headed in the right direction.