Pendulum swings Badgers way

first_imgPrior to last night’s matchup against Michigan, the Wisconsin women’s basketball team was 0-5 in games in which it trailed at the half. Now, the Badgers are 1-5 in that category after defeating the Wolverines by a final score of 73-60, completing the season series sweep.UW junior guard Janese Banks led all scorers with 20 points, on only 4-of-13 shooting from the field. It was her 10 free throws on 12 attempts that helped the Badgers slide past the Wolverines. She was particularly good down the stretch.”I’ve actually lately been practicing free-throw shooting,” Banks said. “The free-throw line is just about being confident and relaxing and knowing that you’ve shot that shot a thousand times in a week.”Banks wasn’t the only Badger guard to score in double figures Thursday night. In fact, both of her backcourt mates, junior Jolene Anderson and freshman Rae Lin D’Alie, reached double digits, scoring 19 and 11 points respectively.Momentum was the name of the game as the Badgers jumped out to a quick 4-0 lead, but Michigan responded with 12 unanswered points to take a 12-4 lead. Not to be outdone, Wisconsin went on its own 12-point run midway through the first half to regain the four-point advantage. But the final eleven-and-a-half minutes of the first half belonged to the maize and blue, as Michigan took a 32-28 lead into the locker room.Whatever UW head coach Lisa Stone said at halftime seemed to work, because her squad came out firing on all cylinders; they started the second half on a 15-2 run.”I think every coach will say that your players will do whatever you emphasize,” Stone said after the win. “We really emphasized rebounding at halftime and we got on the glass. [Anderson, D’Alie and Banks] all had six-plus rebounds. That’s a lot of boards coming out of our [backcourt]. It’s not just your [post players] that rebound, and I think people forget that.”UW won the battle of the boards by a 46-37 margin even after being out-rebounded by Michigan 20-15 in the first half. Stone attributed much of that turnaround to sophomore center Caitlin Gibson, who crashed the boards, nabbing eight of her nine rebounds after intermission. Wolverine center Krista Phillips, who is a staggering 6-foot-6, had nine first-half points on a few easy buckets for the Wolverines. After Gibson and UW’s post game stepped up, she got almost nothing after that, scoring just one point after halftime.”I think the way Gibson came out of the gates in the second half really caused Phillips to be a non-factor,” Stone said. “I thought [Gibson] did a great job on post defense.”Stone was also pleased with her team’s overall defense throughout the contest. Her Badgers held the Wolverines to just 24 percent shooting from the field and 17 percent from beyond the arc in the second half.With 6:02 left on the clock, D’Alie hit a jump shot while falling away on the baseline as the shot clock was winding down. It was a shot that seemed to take the wind out of Michigan’s sails. And it pushed Wisconsin’s lead to five.”I don’t know how it went in,” D’Alie said with a smile. “But it did.””I taught her that shot this summer,” Banks joked.Michigan guard Janelle Cooper performed well in a losing effort. In 40 minutes, she scored a team-high 19 points, collected eight rebounds and was 4-4 from the free throw line.With the win, the Badgers improve to 15-6 on the season, and stand alone in sixth place in the Big Ten at an even 4-4.Stone’s club will have a chance to immediately improve that standing as they will take on their archrival and fourth-place Minnesota in front of a sold out Kohl Center Sunday afternoon, as part of Stone’s “Raise the Roof” charity event. All proceeds will benefit Gilda’s Club Madison, a local support center for those affected by cancer.last_img

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