Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


Badgers lose nailbiter

In a rematch of last year's WNIT Championship, the Badgers
fell for the second time to the Wyoming Cowgirls 67-66 in overtime.

While Wisconsin dominated virtually every aspect of the game
in the first half, Wyoming, led by senior forward Hanna Zavecz, came storming
back in the second half.

"It was going to be one heck of a game," Wyoming head coach
Joe Legerski said. "This game was a tremendous effort by both teams. Neither
team wanted to give up."


The Badgers led by as many as 13 points in the first half,
controlling the game both offensively and defensively. They had given up just
22 points at halftime, forcing 11 Wyoming turnovers.

"I'm really proud of our team's effort, I thought our
defense was outstanding in the first half," Wisconsin head coach Lisa Stone
said. "We shared the ball really well offensively in the first half; we had the
presence we were looking for in the post."

In a surprising move by Stone, Teah Gant started in place of
sophomore Mariah Dunham, who scored 13 points against Wyoming in their last
meeting. But with size matchups coming into play, Stone went with the smaller

"Teah was huge for us," Stone said. "I leaned a little bit
toward her yesterday and told her to be ready. Defensively she was outstanding,
and she made some very tough plays."

After losing to Wyoming by a considerable margin in last
year's WNIT match, the Badgers looked as if they were going to pull away after
clearly controlling the tempo in the first half.  However, the Cowgirls came out with intensity
after intermission, cutting the lead to five with 15:26 left in the game, and
tying it on forward Justyna Podziemska's 3-pointer with 11:16 left in

"I thought we came out [of the half] with a great deal of
intensity," Legerski said. "I'm very proud of the way our team played."

Center Danielle Ward, who proved to be a spark for the
Badgers, picked up her fourth foul with 5:23 left in the contest. Without her inside
presence, the Badgers were helpless in defending the paint.

"I really wanted to be out there, and I knew that I had one
more foul before I would have to sit for the rest of the game," Ward said. "I
had to play carefully and play smart from then on, and I knew the team was
counting on me. It was tough to deal with, but I didn't let it get to me."

Soon thereafter, the two teams traded baskets and the lead
several times. Following a Wyoming turnover with nine seconds remaining,
Wisconsin had a chance to win the game, but Anderson's stumbling jumper did not
go in, and the game went into overtime.

In regulation, Anderson led the scoring attack for the
Badgers, scoring 22 points to go along with four assists.

After hitting a 3-pointer at the start of overtime, the
Badgers seemed to be on a roll, but three clumsy turnovers moved them from the
driver's seat to the passenger's. Wisconsin found itself behind one with less
than six ticks on the clock.

Taking the ball from the deep end of the court, the Badgers
had one chance to win the game, but Janese Banks' pass to Anderson went astray,
and the buzzer sounded, signaling the end of the game.

The Cowgirls expected the ball to be in Anderson's hands, but
the Badgers just couldn't get it to her. She finished with 25 points.

"We all know about how good Jolene Anderson is," Zavecz
said. "She's a great player, and we knew that the ball would be in her hands at
that moment of the game."

With Anderson and the Badgers starting off the season 1–2,
they hope to rebound against Mississippi, at the Pepperdine tournament in
Malibu, California.

"We can't cry about sour milk," Stone said. "There are a lot
of things that we did well tonight, and a lot of things that we can do better.
We just have to go out there and pick up the pieces."

Despite blowing a first-half lead and stumbling a bit out of
the gate, Stone is disregarding any critics of her players and their problems
on the court.

"It's Thanksgiving, and there's a lot to be thankful for,"
Stone said. "We have great kids, and we'll be a better team the next night
because we were much different than we were in Milwaukee [against Marquette].
You have to take the positives and move on, and you have to ignore what you
hear outside, because what matters is what those kids think."

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