College women's basketball: Last-second basket lifts Wisconsin over SDSU Jackrabbits

South Dakota State’s Madison Mathiowetz dribbles the ball during a 66-64 loss to Wisconsin on Tuesday night. (SDSU Athletics)

MADISON, Wis. — A lay up from Brooke Schramek with 0.8 seconds left handed the South Dakota State women their first loss of the season on Tuesday night as the Jackrabbits fell to Wisconsin 66-64.

It was a valiant effort for SDSU (1-1) as the Jacks played just seven players on Tuesday night. They are already without Haleigh Timmer and Kallie Theisen for the season and on Tuesday they were without their leading scorer in Paige Meyer who will be out a couple of weeks with a foot injury.

“I thought they did a great job,” said SDSU head coach Aaron Johnston. “[Injuries] aren’t an excuse. I mean, there are plenty of teams out there that play seven or eight players every game. We’ve always been the exception over the years because we shuffle nine or 10 and everyone is just kind of used to that. But quite honestly a lot of teams are in the short rotation, so I think we’ll be able to manage that.”

SDSU trailed 54-46 heading into the fourth quarter but battled its way back. The Jacks trailed 60-51 but five straight free throws cut the lead to four with just under four minutes to play. SDSU then trailed 62-59 when Madison Mathiowetz hit a 3-pointer to tie the game with 51 seconds left. The Badgers would then get a lay up with 30 seconds left and Tori Nelson answered with a lay up of her own seven seconds later, setting up the Badgers to play for the final shot.

Johnston said he was proud of the way his team gave themselves a chance at the end.

“We made some plays late to get back in it. We were down 10 and it would’ve been easy for an inexperienced team to let this one get a bit further away, but we made a lot of defensive stops and a lot of plays in that fourth quarter to give ourselves a chance to win. Unfortunately we came up a little bit short on the last couple possessions,” Johnston said.

Wisconsin (3-0) scored the first basket of the game, but the Jacks then went on an 11-2 run to go up 11-4 with 2:35 left in the first quarter. However, the Badgers would fight back and scored the 10 of the final 12 points of the quarter and led 14-13 at the end of the first.

SDSU trailed 20-19 with 6:42 left in the first half and then went on a 7-0 run to go up 26-20 at the midway point of the second. The Jacks then led 29-23 but the Badgers scored eight straight points and went up 31-29 with just under two minutes to play. Wisconsin then took a 33-32 lead into the locker room.

The Jacks trailed 39-36 with 6:40 left in the third and Wisconsin went on a 15-5 run to give the Badgers their largest lead of the game with 1:43 left in the quarter. SDSU would score five straight to end the quarter and trailed 54-46 heading into the fourth.

The Badgers outscored the Jacks 21-14 in the third frame. SDSU had 10 turnovers in the third quarter and finished with 28 total turnovers. The Badgers scored 29 points off of those turnovers and Johnston said that’s what ultimately lost his team the game on Tuesday night.

“It was just turnovers. I think we had 13 in the first half and then finished that up with 15 in the second half. To me, that was really the story of the game. We had some breakdowns and some things we didn’t execute on offense that we’d like to or hope to, but it was just too many turnovers,” Johnston said.

With Paige Meyer out, sophomore forward Brooklyn Meyer had to step up and she did just that. She had 19 points, 11 rebounds and five blocks. Johnston said he was pleased with how she played, but thought the Badgers did a good job of taking her away in the second half.

“Brooklyn was really good. The first half I thought she was exceptional. Then in the second half I thought we just took too long to get her the ball and get her going. They were double teaming her and I thought we handled that well late because we were able to hit some shots out of that, but that third quarter I didn’t think we handled their double team inside well,” Johnston said.

SDSU shot 46.5% from the field and was 7-of-12 from three. Mathiowetz finished with 13 points and three steals. Mesa Byom had 11 points and seven rebounds. Madysen Vlastuin had nine points, five rebounds and two steals.

The Jackrabbits won the rebound battle 34-25. Each team had nine offensive rebounds. SDSU had 30 points in the paint and Wisconsin had 24.

The Badgers were led by Ronnie Porter who had 17 points and six assists. Schramek had 14 points and six rebounds. Serah Williams had 11 points.

Up next, SDSU will travel to Tennessee to take on UT Martin on Saturday at 1 p.m. The Jacks will then play at No. 1 ranked South Carolina on Monday at 6 p.m.