Badgers get back on track against Lions

first_imgBEN CLASSON/Herald photoDespite their poor record in the Big Ten, the Wisconsinwomen?s basketball team came through with a big win over Penn State Thursday,blowing out the Lady Lions 72-52 for their 100th winat the Kohl Center.After losing six out of their first seven conference games,the Badgers dominated from the start, running the fast break and capitalizingon several Lady Lion errors. Penn State made mental mistakes and allowed Wisconsinto score on second-chance opportunities.?I thought we were pretty awful from start to finish,? PennState head coach Coquese Washington said. ?I didn?t anticipate that we wouldcome out and play that poorly, but we didn?t really get after it defensivelylike we needed to, and we had some early turnovers. ? Coming out and being ableto get easy buckets in transition gave them a lot of confidence and reallyopened things up for them.?Wisconsin jumped out to a 20-8 lead in the first half,displaying impressive defense on every possession. After extending their leadto 17 points at halftime, the Badgers went on a roll, continuing to shut downthe Lady Lions for the second half even more effectively than in the first.Wisconsin held Penn State to a mere 26.9 percent from thefield and only 19 points in the first half. The Badgers also out-rebounded PennState by 10 and shot 43 percent from the field and an impressive 38.5 percentfrom behind the three-point arch.?It came off of our defense,? Wisconsin head coach LisaStone said. ?It puts us in a position where we can shoot a pretty highpercentage and make lay-ups. But that came off of some good pressure defense. ?We just put some things together defensively that allowed us to get into thetransition and the fast break.?The Badgers had four scorers in double figures, displayingsome aspects of their strong play and balanced scoring attack from earlier inthe season. The trio of freshman Lin Zastrow and seniors Janese Banks and JoleneAnderson led the team with 16 points.?I?m so proud of the kids,? Stone said. ?They really hung inthere. It?s been a tough go of it, and we?ve stayed resilient. We?ve stayedstrong. I told them to play their butts off, and they did it for me. Everybodycontributed.?Wisconsin also set a school and a Kohl Center record forleast amount of turnovers in a game, amounting to an impressive five turnovers ?including only turning the ball over once in the first half.?I didn?t tell them at halftime that we only had oneturnover,? Stone said. ?I didn?t want to jinx ourselves. ? It was prettyflawless basketball.?Going into the second half, the Badgers continued with theirall-around strong play, not allowing the Lady Lions to make a run and get backin the game. The defensive energy was particularly noticeable despite theBadgers? recent troubles.?We spent this whole week on defense,? Anderson said. ?If wedidn?t come out with defensive intensity, I don?t want to know what tomorrowwould be like. It?s just a matter of playing defense for 40 minutes. I think wedid a pretty good job at that tonight.?Wisconsin continued to expand its lead, and the game culminatedwith Annie Crangle?s three-pointer with only 11 seconds left, which put theBadgers ahead by 30 points ? their biggest margin in the game before winning by27.Even with the victory, the Badgers know they have a longroad ahead. They currently sit in 10th place in the Big Ten and havedug themselves into a deep hole.?Now we just have to focus on Sunday,? Banks said. ?We?llenjoy this for the night, but tomorrow we?ll break the film down and startfocusing on Sunday and come out with the same defensive intensity.?With the win, Wisconsin moves to 2-6 in the Big Ten, and 9-9overall, moving back to an even record after falling to Ohio State last Sunday.On Sunday, the Badgers face the last-placeNorthwestern Wildcats in an attempt to win consecutive games for the first timesince winning five straight in December.last_img

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *