Senior shooting guard Kyle Black led 19th-ranked Wisconsin in scoring for the second-straight game as she recorded all 19 of her points in the second half, including the game-winning lay-up, to rally UW over Marquette 56-55 this evening at U.S. Cellular Arena in Milwaukee.
The Badgers trailed by as many as 17 points in the second half before they clamped down on the upset-minded Golden Eagles and scored 17 of the game’s last 19 points to pull out the dramatic come-from-behind victory.
Wisconsin, which had lost the last two meetings with Marquette, improves to 6-1 on the season, while the Golden Eagles, who were playing their fourth Big Ten opponent of the year, drop to 2-5.
Trailing by 14 points, 53-39, with eight minutes remaining in the game, the UW defense held the Golden Eagles without a field goal the rest of the way. On the offensive end, Black made two of her four three-pointers to fuel the game-ending 17-2 run. The Badgers led only once, when point guard Tamara Moore found Black cutting to the hoop for the game’s final basket with twenty-three seconds left to play. The Golden Eagles missed two shots in the last ten seconds, as Wisconsin held on for the victory.
After the game, Black spoke of her teammates’ determination.
“When we got down, no one ever thought for a second that we were not going to win the game,” Black said. “We went out there with the same confidence we have when we play a team ranked in the top 25. Marquette is as good as any team we’ve played, and they fought harder than any team we’ve played.”
Playing a tight zone defense, the Golden Eagles smothered the Wisconsin offense in the first half, jumping out to a 17-2 lead after 10 minutes of play and holding the Badgers to a mere 25 percent shooting in the opening frame.
Marquette out-rebounded the taller Badgers 26-20 in the half (and 43-35 for the game). Wisconsin never got closer than nine points, and the Eagles built a commanding 36-21 half-time lead.
The Golden Eagles pushed their advantage to 17 points, 38-21, in the first minute of the second half, but the Badgers were up to the challenge and limited Marquette to only 29 percent from the floor in the final frame. The Badgers slowly whittled away at the Golden Eagles’ lead, paving the way for UW’s last minute heroics.
“This is one of the most hard-fought battles that I have been in,” said Wisconsin head coach Jane Albright. “It was very hard to score against them; they are a great defensive team. The seniors just found a way win the game; it was one of those gut checks.” Senior forward Jessie Stomski recorded her fifth double-double of the season with 16 points and 12 rebounds. The 6-3 tri-captain now has 29 career double-doubles, which ties her for second place in school history with former Badger star Barb Franke. Tamara Moore directed the UW floor plan, scoring six points and dishing out six assists, including the game-winner to Black. Center Rachel Klug led Marquette with 17 points, and guard Katie Alsdurf added 15 points, including three three-point baskets in six attempts.