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Balanced offense leads to 73-55 victory against Evansville

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Evansville Wisconsin 73, Evansville 55
Kohl Center • Madison, Wis. • Attendance: 3,482

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1st 2nd Final
28 27 55
 Wisconsin 39 34 73
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 Statistical Leaders
 • Morgan Paige: 19 Pts, 2 Ast 
 • Tiera Stephen: 13 Pts, 7 Ast, 5 Reb
 • Taylor Wurtz: 11 Pts, 6 Reb
 Stats at a Glance
 FG Percentage .365 .439
 3-Point FG Percentage .333 .294
 FT Percentage .857 .769
 Offensive Rebounds 9 17
 Defensive Rebounds 22 23
 Total Rebounds 31 40
 Turnovers 16 12
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Nov. 25, 2012

MADISON, Wis. --Finding their offensive rhythm, the Wisconsin women's basketball team shot a season best from the field and scored a 73-55 win over Evansville on Sunday afternoon at the Kohl Center. The Badgers (3-2) had three players score in double figures behind the all-around play of senior Tiera Stephen, who recorded a career-high 13 points and a dished off a season-high seven assists in the win.

"She showed that she can do a lot out there when she’s locked in, and I think she has that in her," said head coach Bobbie Kelsey. "She’s always had that in her, and we were just waiting for her to bring it out, and this was a good time to do it."

 Fast Facts
• The Badgers pull down 17 offensive rebounds
• Morgan Paige and Taylor Wurtz score in double-digits for the fifth-straight game
Tiera Stephen records career-high 13 points

Evansville (2-3) claimed its only lead of the game at 3-2 with 18:26 to play in the first half before two free throws from Morgan Paige started a 9-0 Badger run. Two steals allowed Wisconsin to go up 11-3 on a layup by Stephen with 16:04 remaining in the first half.

With another layup by Stephen, Wisconsin had its largest lead of the half at 31-20 with 8:27 to play. A 3-pointer by Jacki Gulczynski with two seconds left in the half gave the Badgers a 39-28 lead heading into the locker room.

Wisconsin capitalized on 13 points off of Evansville's 11 turnovers in the first half, as well as 24 points in the paint. Paige led the team with 15 points in the first 20 minutes of play.

Defense was the key to Wisconsin pulling away in the second half, holding Evansville to 27 points in the half. Aggressive rebounding was another factor, with the Badgers scoring 15 second-chance points and pulling down 26 of their 40 rebounds in the game.

"I think second-chance points pretty much tell the story, because, again, you end up probably fouling or ending up giving up an easier basket when you don’t box out the first time," said Kelsey.

A pair of layups from Stephen and Paige gave Wisconsin its largest lead of the game at 62-39 with just over 10 minutes remaining. The Purple Aces would get no closer than 16 points in the second half as Stephen made the last Wisconsin shot of the game with 1:34 left to give the Badgers the 73-55 victory. Wisconsin held Evansville scoreless from the field for the final three and a half minutes of play.

Nine Badgers contributed to the balanced offensive attack against the Purple Aces. Paige led the team with 19 points, going 5-for-5 from the free throw line. Stephen added 13 points and Taylor Wurtz recorded 11.

Rochel hit the boards, grabbing nine rebounds. AnnMarie Brown was close behind with seven. The Badgers out-rebounded the Purple Aces 40-31 in the game.

Wisconsin capitalized near the basket, scoring 42 points in the paint. The team shot a season-high 43.9 percent (29-of-66). The Badgers also turned the ball over only 12 times while dishing off 16 assists.

"I’m trying to stress to them that overdribbling is the easiest way to turn it over—especially against Virginia Tech coming up," said Kelsey. "They have a lot of kids that can pressure the ball. We’re going to have to pass and cut, and make them have to guard the back door."

The Badgers travel to Virginia Tech on Wednesday for the ACC/Big Ten Challenge. Tip off is set for 6 p.m., in Blacksburg, Va. 

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