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Badgers open Big Ten season with 76-64 OT win at Illinois


Game Photo
Wisconsin Wisconsin 76, Illinois 64 (OT)
State Farm Center • Champaign, Ill. • Attendance: 1,872

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Illinois

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1st 2nd OT Final
  Wisconsin
23 35 18 76
  Illinois
26 32 6 64
 Statistical Leaders
 • Taylor Wurtz: 27 Pts, 19 Reb, 4 Ast
 • Michala Johnson: 20 Pts, 8 Reb, 3 Blk
 • Morgan Paige: 15 Pts, 4-4 FT-FTA, 6 Ast, 3 Stl
 Stats at a Glance
WIS ILL
 FG Percentage .500 .338
 3-Point FG Percentage .391 .316
 FT Percentage .765 1.000
 Offensive Rebounds 6 10
 Defensive Rebounds 42 23
 Total Rebounds 48 33
 Turnovers 30 13
 Assists 19 13
 Steals 6 13
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Jan. 3, 2014

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- Taylor Wurtz knew her team needed a lift in the second half and she gave the Wisconsin women's basketball team the lift it needed, leading the Badgers to a 76-64 overtime win at Illinois on Friday night. The senior guard finished with a career-high 19 rebounds and also tied her career best of 27 points to give the Badgers a win in their Big Ten Conference opener.

"I am so proud of this group," said head coach Bobbie Kelsey after the game. "These kids step up. Taylor (Wurtz) was big today, Nicole (Bauman) hit a big shot, they got the ball to Mich (Michala Johnson) on some lobs and she hit some big baskets. It's not one person, it's not one play."

 Fast Facts
• Wurtz tallies career high points and rebounds
• Badgers dished off season-high 19 assists
• UW shot 50 percent (27-54) from the field

After only three points at the half, Wurtz went on a scoring tear in the second half, tallying 14 points. The Badgers (8-5 overall, 1-0 Big Ten) trailed 42-35 with 11:47 to play before Wurtz scored five straight to pull UW within one (44-43) with 10:21 to go.

Wisconsin took a 53-51 lead with 5:11 to play as Morgan Paige converted on an old-fashioned three-point play. The Illini (7-7, 0-1) battled back to take a 58-53 lead with 3:22 remaining on a jumper from Ivory Crawford.

Paige hit two free throws with 2:55 remaining to pull UW within three (58-55). Neither team scored until Wurtz hit a 3-pointer with 1:29 to play to tie the game at 58. Both teams missed late shots, including a half-court shot by Paige as time was running out that went off the backboard.

Wurtz kicked off the overtime period with another 3-pointer 15 seconds in. Illinois scored a jumper with 4:27 to play to make it 61-60 before Michala Johnson scored eight of the UW's next nine points as the Badgers took a 70-60 lead with 1:22 to play. Wurtz scored a layup and sealed the win with four straight free throws to give UW the win.

In addition to Wurtz' 27, Johnson finished with 20 points while Paige added 15 points. Sophomore Nicole Bauman chipped in 12 points.

The Badgers shot 50 percent (27-of-54) from the field, including 39.1 percent (9-of-23) from 3-point range. UW was a perfect 5-of-5 from the field in overtime. The Illini hit just 33.8 percent (27-of-80) from the field, including 31.6 percent (6-of-19) from deep.

UW shot 76.5 percent (13-of-17) from the free throw line, including 7-of-9 (77.8 percent) in overtime. The Illini were 4-of-4 from the line.

Wisconsin outrebounded Illinois 48-33 with Wurtz's single-game high tying for fourth on the UW single-game record list.

Led by a career-high seven assists from Bauman, the Badgers dished off a season-high 19 assists. Paige tied her career best with six assists.

UW turned the ball over 30 times, including 13 off Illinois steals.

"We made a lot of mistakes in this game," Kelsey continued. "I don't know how you have 30 turnovers and still win the game, I don't even understand that. We have to correct the errors because we know other people are really going to make us pay."

The Badgers continue their two-game Big Ten opening road trip at Michigan on Thursday. Tip-off is at 6 p.m., from Crisler Arena.

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