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Badgers capture big comeback win on road



Jan. 20, 2011

 Wisconsin 71, Minnesota 63
Williams Arena • Minneapolis, Minn.
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1st 2nd Final
 Minnesota (8-11, 0-6) 44 19 63
 Wisconsin (10-9, 5-2) 30 41 71
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• Attendance: 4,117
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 Statistical Leaders
 • Lin Zastrow: 21 Pts, 12 Reb, 3 Ast, 2 Blk
 • Alyssa Karel: 21 Pts, 7 Reb, 3 Ast, 1 Stl
 • Tara Steinbauer: 14 Pts, 4 Reb, 1 Ast, 2 Stl
 Stats at a Glance
 FG Percentage
.317 .500
 3-Point FG Percentage .176 .200
 FT Percentage .870 .708
 Offensive Rebounds
15 6
 Defensive Rebounds 24 29
 Total Rebounds 39 35
9 10
4 6
12 15
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MINNEAPOLIS -- After trailing by as many as 16 points in the first half, the Wisconsin women's basketball team outscored Minnesota 41-19 in the second half to defeat the Gophers, 71-63, Thursday night. The win at Williams Arena marks the second-biggest comeback in Badger women's basketball program history and also helps Wisconsin jump to second place in the Big Ten Conference.

 Fast Facts
• Zastrow, Karel score 21 points apiece
• Zastrow captures fourth career double-double
• Badgers shoot over 50 percent from field

"I'm really proud of our team," Wisconsin head coach Lisa Stone said. "That second half was a sign of toughness. Our backs were against the wall, playing against a very hungry Minnesota Gopher team and our team responded."

The Cardinal and White were led by seniors Alyssa Karel and Lin Zastrow, who slated 21 points apiece, marking the first time this season that two Badgers have reached over 20 points in a single game. Zastrow's 21-point effort, her third of the season, ties her career high.

The first half was shaky for UW, who allowed Minnesota to shoot 13-of-29 (44.8 percent) from the field in the first 20 minutes of play.

With 5:06 left in the first half, a 3-point play by Minnesota's Leah Cotton helped the Gophers obtain a 16-point lead. The Badgers were able to decrease their deficit to 44-30 at the half, but it was not until the second frame that Wisconsin was able to contest Minnesota's offensive efforts.

"We (knew) we were going to get a tough, very aggressive Minnesota team," Stone said. "They have a lot of great, great players. They had some hot shooting to start the game. We didn't execute very well in the first half. In the second half, we knew that we'd be better defensively and I challenged them at halftime."

Wisconsin continued to narrow Minnesota's lead from the start of the second half, but the Badgers did not take the lead until the final five minutes of play.

It was the Badgers' defensive efforts that held the Gophers scoreless for over eight minutes (9:20-1:36) that made the difference.

With 4:37 left on the clock, sophomore Taylor Wurtz lobbed a pass from the left corner to Zastrow on the block. The senior laid it in and sealed the 3-point play to give Wisconsin the 59-57 advantage.

Wisconsin never relinquished the lead, converting nine free throws in the final 2:13 to secure the series sweep over Minnesota. 

"It was much different in the second half," Stone said. "They had to work very hard to get in the lane. Our defense was very, very good. I thought we got out to shooters, we chased through their staggered screens better and we stopped fouling so much. We fouled a ton in the first half and you can't do that on the road. I told our players get there with your feet, show your hands, start playing better defense and keep them out of the lane. And we did that in the second half."

Zastrow did not only have a standout game offensively, she recorded her fourth career double-double and reached double figures in scoring and rebounding for the second-straight game by pulling down a game-high and career-high 12 rebounds, 11 of which were defensive.

Joining Karel and Zastrow, fellow senior Tara Steinbauer reached double figures with 14 points, helping Wisconsin to 50 percent accuracy from the field (26-of-52), marking just the second time this season that the Badgers shot above 50 percent.

Both teams were fairly cautious with the ball, with Wisconsin registering 10 turnovers and Minnesota slating just nine giveaways.

"We took good care of the basketball, rebounded a lot better in the second half," Stone said.  "And our seniors were our leaders - Alyssa Karel, Lin Zastrow and Tara Steinbauer - it's proven on the stats. Great senior leadership."

Wisconsin returns to the floor to host Illinois at the Kohl Center. The game tips off at 5 p.m. (CT) on the Big Ten Network.

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