Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

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Freshmen pick up slack

On senior day at the Kohl Center, the freshmen took over the show.

Tara Steinbauer, Lin Zastrow and Alyssa Karel kept the Badgers in the game to the best of their ability, giving the large home crowd a taste of what could be a bright future for the next three years.

The trio combined for 43 points, more than half of Wisconsin?s scoring total in the 87-78 loss. The three made up for the seniors? poor shooting but could not help the Badgers overcome a Hawkeye lead that at one point reached 20 in the first half.

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?It?s certainly exciting for the future,? Wisconsin head coach Lisa Stone said. ?They are three really good players that have walked in and been welcomed by our entire team.?

The last time the Badgers faced Iowa, they lost a heartbreaker in overtime. In that game, Jolene Anderson scored a career-high 42 points and dominated the Hawkeyes? defense. On Sunday, however, it was a completely different story for Anderson ? she shot 4-19 from the field and scored only 10 points.

?She schooled us the first time we played them and that was a little embarrassing,? Iowa head coach Lisa Bluder said. ?We wanted to make sure that she didn?t have another career night against us. We worked hard in our denial, we worked hard on our pressure when she got the ball, but more than anything it was just awareness of her on the floor.?

With Anderson and Janese Banks clearly off their marks Sunday, the Badgers needed the freshmen?s presence on the floor. Steinbauer kept the Badgers in the game early in the first half, driving to the lane and scoring seven points from the free-throw line while the rest of the team was ice cold.

With the seniors still struggling in the second half, Wisconsin relied on both Zastrow and Karel to keep the Badgers in the mix. Karel hit two big 3-pointers to keep Wisconsin in the game and Zastrow?s post presence was a major factor, as she led all scorers for the Badgers with 17 points.

?I thought it was harder for them to be defended because of the shooting range their posts have,? Bluder said. ?Zastrow and also when Alyssa comes in ? she?s such an offensive-minded point guard that she?s very hard to defend.?

The Badgers scored most of their points when Zastrow and Karel were in the game ? the two shot 86.7 percent from the field ? but the freshman duo only played a combined 46 minutes compared to Anderson and Banks? 72.

?They did an outstanding job and obviously the future looks very, very bright for the Wisconsin basketball team,? Bluder said. ?Those freshmen did a wonderful, wonderful job for them. I thought they were a lot stronger when those three freshmen were in.?

Sunday?s game proved to the Badgers that the departure of Anderson, Banks and Danielle Ward will allow the freshmen to improve even more than they have this season.

?They played fantastic. That just shows their talent. I can?t say enough about Alyssa, Lin and Tara,? Banks said. ?They?re not afraid to do anything. ? I expect good things from them.?

Going into the Big Ten Tournament, the Badgers will need similar play from their freshmen in order to succeed. Their improvements throughout this past season are clear, and with the team?s top three scorers leaving, the three freshmen will emerge to become the team?s new offensive forces.

?Since the beginning of the season until right now you?ve seen the growth in maturity in all three of them,? Stone said. ?They?ve played their roles very well and they?ve been accepted by a family of Badgers that is excited with what we?ve been doing lately.?

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