The No. 7-ranked Penn State women’s basketball team (20-4, 12-1) did not score a field goal in the final seven minutes of play but still managed to down the Badgers (8-15, 2-11) 66-50 last night.
The Nittany Lions led 60-36 with 7:26 remaining in the game before a 14-0 Wisconsin run cut the lead to 10 points with 2:41 to play. That was as close as the Badgers would come, as a string of turnovers and missed shots stalled Wisconsin’s late charge.
Penn State closed out the game with six free throws from guard Jess Strom.
“I am proud of my team,” UW head coach Lisa Stone said. “We did not quit when we could have very easily. Penn State is a tremendous basketball team with great players. To hold a team of this stature to no field goals over the last seven minutes of the game is pretty noteworthy for our defense.”
Penn State’s stifling defense forced a season-high 24 Wisconsin turnovers and posted a 31-15 advantage in points off turnovers. The Nittany Lions’ effective defense held the Badgers to just 23 first-half points as the defending Big Ten champions entered the locker room with a commanding 40-23 halftime lead.
In the second half, Penn State’s lead grew to as many as 26 points before Wisconsin’s late run. The loss extends the Badgers’ losing streak to six games.
Forward Jess Brungo led the way for the Nittany Lions with a game-high 18 points, and guard Tanisha Wright added 17 points. Kelly Mazzante, who leads the Big Ten in scoring with 22 points per game, scored just 15 points on 6-20 shooting.
Center Emily Ashbaugh led the Badgers with 14 points and seven boards. Leading scorer Ashley Josephson struggled from the field, scoring 10 points on 4-13 shooting. A bright spot in the loss was the play of reserve forward Annie Nelson, who scored a career-high four points and pulled down three rebounds.
— compiled from staff reports