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Tayor Wurtz's 26 points lead Badgers to 71-61 victory over Montana State



Nov. 25, 2011

Wisconsin 71, Montana State 61
Coors Event Center • Boulder, Colo.
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1st 2nd Final
 Montana State (3-2) 23 38 61
 Wisconsin (2-4) 30 41 71
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• Attendance: 352
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 Statistical Leaders
 • Taylor Wurtz: 26 Pts, 9 Reb, 2 Stl
 • Cassie Rochel: 14 Pts, 11 Reb, 5 Blks
 • Jade Davis: 6 Ast, 2 Stl, 35 Min
 Stats at a Glance
 FG Percentage .383 .460
 3-Point FG Percentage .150 .316
 FT Percentage .750 .760
 Offensive Rebounds 9 8
 Defensive Rebounds 21 29
 Total Rebounds 30 37
 Turnovers 15 18
 Assists 15 13
 Steals 10 8
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BOULDER, Colo. -- Led by junior Taylor Wurtz’s season-high 26 points and double-digit scoring performances by three other players, the Wisconsin women’s basketball team defeated Montana State, 71-61, Friday night at the Colorado Omni Classic in Boulder, Colo.

The win moves the Badgers into the championship game where they play the winner of the Colorado vs. Valparaiso contest. The win also snaps a four-game losing streak and moves the Badgers to 2-4 on the season.

 Fast Facts
• Wurtz scored season-high 26 points
• Rochel had first career double-double
• Davis tied a career-best six assists

“I am proud of the team for persevering and getting through this stretch of all these games,” head coach Bobbie Kelsey said. “Several people stepped up. Cassie Rochel and Ashley Thomas really came through, but Taylor (Wurtz) is doing what she has always done.”

A 3-pointer by Wurtz just 29 seconds into the game gave Wisconsin the lead and the Badgers never looked back. Despite UW’s 13 turnovers in the first 20 minutes, the Bobcats’ poor shooting from the field and the 3-point line allowed Wisconsin to finish first 20 minutes with a 30-23 lead.

Wurtz netted three 3-pointers in the first half to lead Wisconsin with nine points, while sophomore Cassie Rochel put of seven of her career-high 14 points in the first stanza.

Wisconsin’s never backed down, holding off a surging MSU offense in the second half. A 3-pointer by Montana State’s Katie Bussey with 10:39 remaining in the game tied the score, 42-42, but the Badgers responded with a bucket of their own. Senior Ashley Thomas’ layup at 10:04 gave UW a two-point lead. Wurtz poured in 12 points in the final 7:12 to confirm the win for the Badgers.

“Taylor can go all day, she never gets tired,” Kelsey commented on Wurtz’s performance. “Even when she is, she wants to play. We need her and she is the heart of our team. We depend on her a lot.”

Wurtz just missed her third double-double of the year, leading all players with nine rebounds. Rochel added a career-high 11 rebounds and five blocks. The 6-4 sophomore recorded her first career double-double in a career-high 32 minutes on the court. Thomas and sophomore Morgan Paige added double-digit scoring performances, with Paige recording 11 points and Thomas netting 10.

“Without Cassie, we really don’t win the game,” Kelsey said. “She can do that all the time. She just has to have confidence. I think tonight was a big step for Cassie in just realizing how good she can be.”  

Wisconsin was 23-of-50 (46.0 percent) from the floor, going 6-of-19 (31.6 percent) from beyond the arc. Montana State shot 23-of-60 (38.3 percent) from the field and 3-of-20 (15.0 percent) from 3-point range. The Badgers dominated the game from the line, shooting 19-of-25 (76.0 percent) while the Bobcats were 12-of-16 (75.0 percent) from the charity stripe.

For the fifth time in six games, Wisconsin outrebounded its opponent, pulling down 37 boards to Montana State’s 30. After committing 13 turnovers in the first half, the Badgers settled down and only turned the ball over five times in the final 20 minutes.

The Badgers dished off 13 assists, led by six from senior Jade Davis, tying her career best.

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