Dec. 11, 2009
MILWAUKEE, Wis. -The Wisconsin women's basketball team (8-2) overcame a half time deficit and jumpstarted its offense in the second half to defeat Marquette, 56-49, on Friday at the Al McGuire Center in Milwaukee.
With the victory, the Badgers wrap up their six-game road swing in style, finishing the trip with a 5-1 record.
"We beat a very good team," head coach Lisa Stone said. "Marquette is a well-coached, a very talented team basketball team. Our team has just run a six-game road swing to a final end."
Alyssa Karel led the way for the Badgers with a season-high 23 points, shooting 9-of-15 from the field and 3-of-5 from 3-point range. Lin Zastrow chipped in 10 points.
"I commend Alyssa Karel for an outstanding offensive and defensive performance," Stone said. "She was our go-to in the first half and I thought she continued in the second half. Lin Zastrow gave us a nice start. I think she got the message from the Ohio State game in terms of being a threat for us. I thought she did a really nice job."
Free throw shooting and 3-point shooting were key components in the Badger victory as Wisconsin hit 35.3 percent (6-of-17) from downtown and 70.6 percent (12-of -17) from the charity stripe. Marquette managed to make only two of its 12 3-point attempts (16.7 percent) and shot just 9-of-21 (42.9 percent) from the free throw line.
The cold weather seemed to transfer onto the court as both teams struggled from the field in the first half. The Golden Eagles (6-3) hit just 35.5 percent of their shots, while the Badgers shot 32 percent.
The Badgers got out to an early 12-6 lead due to Karel's offensive production as she led all scorers at half with 10. However, the Eagles then rolled on a 9-0 run to take a 17-12 lead. Jade Davis came off the bench and managed to spark the Badgers, knocking down two 3-pointers to narrow the half time deficit to three, 23-20.
"Jade Davis gave us a tremendous spark off the bench, both offensively and defensively," Stone said. "She has played limited minutes the last few games so it was nice to see Jade come alive."
Wisconsin came out on all cylinders in the second half and quickly regained the lead, 29-26, as Karel scored six of the team's first nine points in the period. However, Marquette's Tatiyana McMorris quickly responded with a 3-pointer to tie the game at 29.
At the 13:50 mark, Karel knocked down a jumper to give the Badgers a 33-32 lead, which it would not lose. Wisconsin then effectively distributed the ball, enabling it to take a 44-36 lead with about eight minutes remaining. A 3-pointer from Marquette's Courtney Weibel would narrow the deficit to three (51-48) but strong free throw shooting from the Badgers helped solidify the victory.
Wisconsin shot 45.8 percent from the field in the second half and finished with a 38.8 field goal percentage, edging the Golden Eagles, who shot 37.3 percent.
The Badgers out-rebounded the Golden Eagles, 39-31, as Teah Gant matched a game-high seven rebounds.
"I thought Teah Gant gave us a calming factor on the floor," Stone said.
Jessica Pachko and Janelle Harris of Marquette also tallied seven boards apiece.
Taylor Wurtz had an all-around productive night as she grabbed four rebounds, dished out two assists and scored two points in addition to her game-high four steals.
Angel Robinson highlighted the Golden Eagles' offense with a team-high nine points, while handing out a game-high five assists. Robinson missed more than the last 10 minutes of the game as she was injured while trying to save a ball going out of bounds.
Wisconsin totaled 12 assists, compared to Marquette's 10, and was led by D'Alie and Gant who both had three.
"I feel like we walk out of here feeling good that we got another road win," Stone said. "We're 5-1 [on the road]; our only loss was to No. 3 Ohio State. We take the win but we have a lot of work to do. We need to be tougher. We walk out of here knowing that we can be better."
The Badgers return home on Sunday to face SIU Edwardsville at 4 p.m. inside the Kohl Center.