Badgers women's basketball team protects big lead this time, defeats Illinois
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UW WOMEN’S BASKETBALL

Badgers women's basketball team protects big lead this time, defeats Illinois

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CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Not this time.

After letting big second-half leads get away in each of the previous two games, the University of Wisconsin women’s basketball team made the plays it needed to down the stretch to defeat Illinois 73-64 Sunday at the State Farm Center.

Senior Abby Laszewski scored 16 points to lead a balanced attack for the Badgers (11-11, 3-8 Big Ten). She also blocked two shots to take over fifth place in program history with 105 career blocks.

Sophomore Imani Lewis added 11 points, her 12th consecutive game in double figures, and junior Niya Beverley, coming off the bench for the first time in Big Ten play, scored 10. Beverley hit back-to-back 3-pointers to trigger an 8-0 run that included a last-second basket by senior Kendra Van Leeuwen to open up a 37-25 lead.

That was the same margin the Badgers took into the second half Thursday at Indiana, only to see it slip away and result in an overtime loss. But this time they didn’t let the Fighting Illini (10-11, 1-9) get closer than seven points.

“We went in up 12 at halftime and we didn’t try to change anything,” coach Jonathan Tsipis said “We stuck with the game plan. We still rebounded and got out in transition.

“I hope they can see that concentrating and being able to do something for 40 minutes … it doesn’t have to be perfect … but just not having as many highs and lows. I didn’t feel like they made a significant run that we didn’t do a good job of battling back. If you can do that, you’ll put yourself in position to win.”

The Badgers did most of their damage around the basket, outscoring the Illini 38-18 in the paint.

UW also had a 44-33 advantage on the boards, led by freshman Sydney Hilliard with a season-high 13 rebounds.

Another freshman, Julie Pospisilova, had a team-high six assists, also her personal best.

“I thought everybody did things that really helped us win,” Tsipis said. “Sometimes those show up on the scoreboard, sometimes they don’t.”

Senior Courtney Joens scored 16 points to lead four Illinois players in double figures.


WISCONSIN

min fg-a ft-a rb pf a to pts

Laszewski 28 6-9 4-4 7 1 0 2 16

Lewis 24 5-10 1-2 3 2 1 3 11

Gilreath 9 2-2 0-0 1 0 0 0 6

Van Leeuwen 28 1-4 1-2 3 0 3 3 3

Hilliard 33 3-11 1-2 13 2 4 2 8

Beverley 30 4-8 0-2 2 3 3 1 10

Stauffacher 8 1-2 0-0 0 1 0 0 2

Pospisilova 2 4-6 0-0 3 1 6 2 9

Fredrickson 10 1-4 2-2 4 1 1 1 4

Stapleton 8 2-3 0-0 4 2 0 1 4

Mathiason 1 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0

Crowley 1 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0

Bragg 1 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0

Luehring 1 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0

Totals 29-59 9-14 44 13 18 15 73

ILLINOIS

min fg-a ft-a rb pf a to pts

Myles 21 3-10 0-0 7 0 0 1 6

Andrews 24 1-5 0-0 1 3 0 1 3

Beasley 24 3-9 4-6 1 3 0 1 10

Terry 25 3-11 2-2 6 3 0 3 10

Holesinska 31 5-13 0-0 2 2 0 0 13

Rice 8 0-1 0-0 0 0 0 1 0

Joens 30 4-6 7-8 7 4 1 0 16

Ephraim 21 1-5 0-0 0 2 1 2 2

Peebles 10 1-4 1-2 2 0 1 0 4

Blazek 6 0-2 0-0 1 0 1 0 0

Totals 21-66 14-18 33 16 7 9 64

Team totals include rebounds and turnovers

Wisconsin 12 25 19 17 — 73

Illinois 14 11 22 17 — 64

3-pointers — W 6-16 (Gilreath 2-2, Beverley 2-6, Hilliard 1-2, Pospisilova 1-3, Fredrickson 0-1, Van Leeuwen 0-2), I 8-22 (Holesinska 3-8, Terry 2-4, Peebles 1-1, Joens 1-1, Andrews 1-2, Rice 0-1, Ephraim 0-2, Beasley 0-3). Blocks — W 3 (Laszewski 2, Stapleton 1), I 0. Steals — W 2 (Hilliard 1, Pospisilova 1), I 7 (Joens 2, Ephraim 2, Myles 1, Andrews 1, Terry 1). Field goal percentage — W .492, I .318. Free throw percentage — W .643, I .778. Att. — 2,388.

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