Dec. 15, 2009
Quotes | Notes | Box Score | Post-Game News Conference | Gameday Blog
MADISON, Wis. - The easiest way to victory in basketball is through efficient shooting and rigid defense, both of which the Wisconsin women’s basketball team performed in its 62-46 defeat of Robert Morris on Tuesday night in the Kohl Center. The Badgers wrap up their non-conference play with a 10-1 record, ranking second on the all-time list.
“It was team defense and that was our goal coming in—to rebound the basketball,” UW head coach Lisa Stone said. “I don’t know what the numbers are here, but I thought for the most part we were ball-getters, we went and got the ball today. Also, we shot the ball really well from the 3-point line. That might be one of the best shooting percentages we have from the 3-point range, against a stingy zone—they were trying to trap us, they really pulled everybody over.”
The Badgers boasted its strong shooting capabilities, converting 52.3 percent of its shots from the field while knocking down an impressive 56.3 percent of its 3-pointers. In contrast, Robert Morris was 17-58 (29.3 percent) from the field and made just five of its 19 3-point attempts (26.3 percent).
Alyssa Karel once again led the Badgers in scoring with 20 points, while Rae Lin D’Alie and Taylor Wurtz each added 11 points apiece.
Wisconsin shot 9-of-16 from beyond the arc, falling two shy of a career-high in 3-point conversions. Wurtz and D’Alie made the most of their attempts from long range, respectively shooting 3-of-3 and 2-of-2. Karel knocked down four of her nine attempts and was one make away from a career high.
Tara Steinbauer continued dominate the glass for the Badgers, gathering a game-high nine rebounds. Wisconsin bettered the Colonials on the glass, 37-29. Angela Pace led Robert Morris with six boards.
“We also wanted to make sure that offensively, when you’re playing against a zone, that it doesn’t slow down your defense—I thought our defense was terrific tonight,” Stone said.
Robert Morris’ zone defense created problems for the Badgers as it forced 18 turnovers and racked up nine steals with both Pace and Monica Jones collecting three steals. D’Alie also swiped three steals to lead the Badgers.
Despite the high amount of turnovers, the Badgers totaled a season-high 19 assists and were led by D’Alie, who dished out a season-high seven. The Colonials tallied just seven dimes as Pace and Bianca Hooten each had three.
Two players scored in double-digits for Robert Morris as Vega Gimeno-Martinez had a team-high 14 points. Pace chipped in 10 points.
Wisconsin recently restricted SIU Edwarsville to 18 first half points on Dec. 13, but the Badgers reached new heights by holding the Colonials to just 17 points in the first half – marking a new season low by their opponents.
Behind its pesky zone defense, Robert Morris overcame a UW 12-4 lead and narrowed the deficit to four, 15-11, with 9:59 left in the half. However, more concise ball movement allowed Wisconsin to close out the period with a commanding 32-17 lead. Karel led all scorers with 13 points and knocked down three 3-pointers, two of which came with the shot clock expiring.
“We wanted to make sure we took care of business today, to come out with some energy,” Stone said.
“At halftime, I warned them and cautioned them about what happened with St. Bonaventure last year in the second half. We commanded the first half and came out sluggish in the second half. I thought our team responded (today) in terms of energy.”
Stone said that the team’s strong pre-season play is an important factor in preparing for the Big Ten Conference season.
“Michigan State is obviously a very good team, we’re playing two of the top (teams) right away in the Big Ten, and we’re excited about being at home, but our whole goal and our mission is to carry over what we’ve done now in the preseason into the Big Ten season.”
The Badgers now take a 13-day break for finals and the holidays, but return on Dec. 28 in their Big Ten opener against Michigan State. Tip off begins at 7 p.m. inside the Kohl Center.
Wisconsin Athletic Communications