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No luck for Billikens against Badgers



Dec. 5, 2011

Wisconsin 48, Saint Louis 46
Kohl Center • Madison, Wis.
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1st 2nd Final
 Saint Louis (2-6) 22 24 46
 Wisconsin (4-5) 17 31 48
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 Statistical Leaders
 • Ashley Thomas: 14 Pts, 7 Reb, 3 Ast, 39 Min
 • Taylor Wurtz: 16 Pts, 9 Reb, 2 Ast
 • Anya Covington: 8 Pts, 4, Reb, 2 Blk
 Stats at a Glance
 FG Percentage .284 .413
 3-Point FG Percentage .000 .364
 FT Percentage .667 .667
 Offensive Rebounds 21 6
 Defensive Rebounds 24 27
 Total Rebounds 45 33
 Turnovers 11 12
 Assists 10 10
 Steals 8 4
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MADISON, Wis. -- A jumper by Cassie Rochel tied the game and a 3-pointer by Taylor Wurtz gave the Wisconsin women's basketball team a lead it would never relinquish in a come-from-behind win over Saint Louis in the Kohl Center Monday night. The Badgers earned their second-consecutive win with 48-46 victory over the Billikens to improve to 4-5 on the season. Saint Louis drops its second-consecutive road game, falling to 2-6.

 Fast Facts
• Badgers record a season-low 12 turnovers
• Thomas put up career-best 14 points & 7 rebounds
• UW earns back-to-back wins for first time this season

A sluggish first half gave way to a strong second half performance for Wisconsin. In the first 20 minutes of play, UW scored a season-low 17 points and shot just 25 percent (6-of-24) from the floor. In the second 20 minutes of play, the Badgers put up 31 points and shot 59.1 percent (13-of-22) from the field to come from behind and earn the win. 

"I think it really showed tonight that they can persevere and get through a tough stretch," head coach Bobbie Kelsey said. "That team was scoring a little bit and we were matched a few of those baskets, but I have faith in them that they will stick together and work it through."

Down 32-27 at 14:34 in the second half, Wurtz hit her first 3-pointer of the second half to cut SLU's lead to two, 32-20. Three missed shots by the Billikens allowed Wisconsin to tie the game, 32-32, at 12:28 on a jumper by Rochel. Wurtz nailed her second 3-pointer in less than three minutes to give Wisconsin a 35-35 lead with 11:45 to play.

A layup by Wurtz with 5:08 remaining in the game gave Wisconsin its largest lead of the game, 43-36, but SLU wasn't done fighting. A jump shot by Lorreal Jones at 1:11 brought the score within two, 48-46, but the Badgers were able to hold on for the win.  The Billikens missed a jumper with 32 seconds remaining and the front end of a one-and-one free throw attempt with 31 seconds to go. A missed free throw by Rochel with 21 seconds to play allowed Saint Louis to throw up a 3-point attempt with four seconds to go. Wurtz grabbed the rebound and was fouled but missed the front end of the bonus. Rochel grabbed the rebounds with two seconds left to seal the win.    

Ashley Thomas put up career numbers to pace the Badgers the entire game. In 39 minutes of action, the senior captain recorded a career-best 14 points and seven rebounds, recording a career-high six field goals in a career-best 6-of-8 shooting performance (75 percent).

"Ashley, to her credit, she really got us going," Kelsey remarked. "She was in one of those huddles and I didn't have to say anything. She was in people's faces. She did give us that life we needed. She has fire in her. Anybody that plays with her or watches her understands that."

Anya Covington and Cassie Rochel each recorded a pair of blocks, while Wurtz put up 16 points to record her ninth-consecutive double-digit scoring performance.

Wisconsin finished the game 19-of-46 (41.3 percent) from the field, going 4-of-11 (36.4 percent) from 3-point range. Saint Louis marked a Wisconsin opponent season-high 67 shots from the field but shot just 28.4 percent (19-of-67), including 0-of-8 from beyond the arc, both season lows for an opponent.

The Badgers posted a 6-of-9 (66.7 percent) performance from the free throw line and the Billikens matched the performance, also shooting 66.7 percent (8-of-12). 

Wisconsin was outrebounded by SLU, 45-33, marking just the third time this season an opponent has accomplished the feat, an area of concern for Kelsey. "The rebounding is what really concerns me because we can do a lot better, we just didn't show that."

The Badgers recorded a season-low 12 turnovers and dished off 10 assists, including three from Thomas.

UW takes its two-game win streak on the road, traveling to Lawrence, Kan., on Thursday to face off with Kansas in the Big Ten/Big 12 Challenge. Game time is set for 7 p.m. 

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