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The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

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Josephson demonstrates resiliency in thriller

When she left the game less than five minutes into the first half after picking up two early fouls, guard Ashley Josephson seemed to be headed for a frustrating day. Josephson’s first-half performance was far from heroic, as foul trouble limited her to just three minutes of action.

As Josephson watched from the sidelines, the UW women’s basketball team played its most impressive 20 minutes of the season to take a commanding 41-25 halftime lead.

Playing without one of their best shooters, the Badgers led in almost every offensive category, shooting 48.4 percent from the field and 54.5 percent from three-point range in the half. In Josephson’s absence, freshman guard Kandace Evans stepped in to record six points and three assists and shoot 2-3 from beyond the three-point arc.

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But in the second half, the Badgers’ fortune changed, and it was Josephson’s turn to give her team a spark. After the Cyclones went on an 18-8 run to cut the Badgers’ lead to 49-43, Josephson knocked down a three-pointer to spark a 14-7 run that pushed the lead to 63-50. When a three-pointer from Iowa State guard Lyndsey Medders cut the lead to 65-58, Josephson answered with a jumper to stall the Cyclones’ comeback.

After the Cyclones tied the game at 73-73 on a pair of free throws from guard Anne O’Neil, the Badgers put the ball in Josephson’s hands and the resilient sophomore delivered. With four seconds on the clock, Josephson drove through the Iowa State defense for a three-point play to win the game.

“Coach [Lisa Stone] designed it. She put it on the drawing board, and we just did it to perfection,” Josephson said. “Emily [Ashbaugh] set a real great screen up high and that freed me, so I took it to the hole.”

Josephson finished with 13 points on 5-10 shooting and hit 2-6 from three-point range, but more importantly, she showed tremendous resolve after a frustrating first half and tremendous poise with the game on the line.

Josephson’s heroics could not have occurred without strong play from her teammates, however. In a game in which five Badgers scored in double figures, Josephson’s heroic day was one of many impressive performances.

“What a great win,” UW head coach Lisa Stone said. “I am so very proud of this basketball team — a tremendous team effort. When we can have 21 assists, that’s some team basketball. Five players in double figures, great effort on the glass, a contribution from a lot of people, Ashley making a game-winner, it’s a special day.”

It was a big day for the Gebisa family, as center Lello Gebisa led the Badgers in scoring (17 points), rebounding (8) and blocks (3), and forward Ebba Gebisa led the Badgers with eight first-half points and finished with 11 points, six assists, and four rebounds. Ebba also led the Badgers in three-pointers (3), as the team hit a season-high nine three-point shots and recorded a season-high three-point shooting percentage of 40.9 percent.

Wisconsin also set a season-high in assists (21) behind eight from guard Stephanie Rich, who leads the Big Ten in assists with 7.6 per game. In a complete performance, the Badgers scored a season-high 76 points and recorded a season-low 12 turnovers.

The victory gives Stone her first win at the Kohl Center since taking over as Wisconsin’s head coach, as the Badgers ended their two-game home losing streak. After the game, the Wisconsin bench stormed the court, and Stone ran into the stands to share the moment with her family.

“I lost my mind there for a minute,” Stone said. “My family has been behind me the whole time. My mother was in tears and everybody was jumping all over the place. They are very proud.”

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