Just more than a month ago, the Wolverines narrowly escaped with a 63-60 win at Wisconsin. But in Ann Arbor Sunday it was a much different story as Michigan cruised to a 75-55 victory. The Badgers (2-9 Big Ten, 8-13 overall) remain winless in conference road games.
Michigan (4-7, 11-13) junior forward Tabitha Pool had 25 points while senior center Jennifer Smith added 22. Wisconsin will not soon forget the duo, which combined for 43 points in the Wolverines' win at the Kohl Center Jan. 22.
Wisconsin committed 18 turnovers, allowing Michigan easy opportunities on the other end. The Wolverines, by comparison, had just 10.
"It's disappointing from the standpoint that we did not take care of Jennifer Smith," Wisconsin head coach Lisa Stone said. "She had five free throws in, I think, the first five possessions. She had a way with us. Emily [Ashbaugh] is on the bench with foul trouble. It's not because of the calls; she [Smith] is a very fine player. Once we sandwiched her, we sandwiched her good in the second half, but things changed, and Tabitha Pool took off."
The Badgers shot 36 percent, hitting 22 of 62 shots while Michigan shot 49 percent (29 of 59) for the game and 55 percent (17 of 31) in the second half.
But the game was not completely lackluster for the Badgers, as sophomore guard Ashley Josephson notched 20 points on 8 of 18 shooting and junior guard Stephanie Rich had 14, including four 3-pointers. Sophomore forward Kjersten Bakke had a personal-high 10 points and nine rebounds. Stone was impressed with Josephson's performance.
"I took Ashley aside after the game, [and told her] that she is doing everything I ask her to do," Stone said. "She comes every day; she plays 40 minutes a game; she steps up to the plate, and she knocks shots down. She can't do anything else."
The Badgers jumped out to a 10-4 lead early in the game but had a five-minute scoring drought that allowed Michigan to go on a 13-0 run that put them ahead 17-10. Michigan continued its shooting barrage and entered halftime with a 33-23 lead. Wisconsin got within nine points only twice in the second half and Michigan at one point held a 22-point lead.
The Badgers will return home to face Iowa Thursday. Wisconsin previously lost to the Hawkeyes 66-46 Jan. 18.
Score by half
Wisconsin - (Field goals-Free throws-Points) - Ashley Josephson (8-3-20), Stephanie Rich (5-0-14), Kjersten Bakke (4-2-10), Emily Ashbaugh (2-0-4), Kandace Evans (1-0-2), Erin Olson (1-0-2), Lello Gebisa (1-0-2), Ebba Gebisa (0-1-1). Totals: 22-6-55.
Michigan - (Field goals-Free throws-Points) - Tabitha Pool (11-1-25), Jennifer Smith (7-8-22), Kelly Helvey (4-3-11), Stephanie Gandy (3-3-9), Sierra Hauser-Price (4-0-8). Totals: 29-15-75.
Three point goals - Wisconsin 5 (Josephson 1, Rich 4), Michigan 2 (Pool 2).
Rebounds - Wisconsin 41 (Bakke 9), Michigan 37 (Smith 11).
Assists - Wisconsin 10 (Rich 3), Michigan 16 (Pool, Helvey 4) Turnovers - Wisconsin 18 (Evans, Jordan Wilson 4), Michigan 10 (Pool 5)
Blocks - Wisconsin 6 (Ashbaugh 2), Michigan 1 (Pool) Steals - Wisconsin 2 (Rich, Josephson), Michigan 10 (Hauser-Price 4) Fouls - Wisconsin 20, Michigan 16. Fouled out - Hauser-Price (UM).