Mike Lane and his New Jersey Institute of Technology Highlanders stunned the Badger faithful, defeating Wisconsin 61-49 and outscoring the Badgers 18-8 in the fourth quarter.
Arriving in Madison 0-2 after encounters with Wagner and Marquette, Lane’s squad appeared hungry for the opportunity to earn its first victory against a Big Ten program on the road. The Highlanders had a 1-9 record away from home a season ago. After suffering a 32-point pounding on Friday, the second-year members of the America East Conference came ready to play.
Led by co-captain Ellyn Stoll and junior guard Kenna Squier, who each scored 14 in the win, the Highlanders collected nine more rebounds and 11 more second-chance points than UW.
Despite forcing four more turnovers and 10 more steals than Lane’s group, the Badgers couldn’t buy a bucket. Moseley’s group shot a dismal 3-17 from behind the arc and 33.9% from the field.
NJIT held a narrow lead for over 3o minutes in regulation, but they built a 14-point advantage during the final period. The Highlanders recorded an efficient 54.5% field goal percentage in the fourth, going 3-6 from deep and 6-11 from the field. UW missed all nine of their three-point attempts and went 4-20 throughout the quarter.
Freshman guard Krystyna Ellew, who earned 29 points in her Badger debut against St. Thomas, went scoreless on six attempts. Alex Luehring grabbed eight boards and swatted away three shot attempts, but could not find her usual range from outside.
Junior guard Sydney Hilliard added 18 points, three assists, and a team-leading five steals. Katie Nelson snagged three steals of her own and handed out six dimes over a game-high 40 minutes on the hardwood. Forward Sara Stapleton poured in six field goals and chalked up a 4-5 mark from the charity stripe.
With seven traveling violations and four errant passes, unforced errors hurt Wisconsin, and NJIT certainly capitalized.
Lyzi Litwinko, a member of the 2020-2021 America East All-Rookie team, exhibited her versatility with nine points and five rebounds. Senior Kimi Evans snatched a team-leading nine rebounds to go along with eight tallies and three blocks.
NJIT’s balanced scoring attack created problems for Moseley’s 2-3 zone defense, and once Lane’s group built a lead, his high-spirited team did not look back.
“We couldn’t buy a bucket … [NJIT] moved the ball well and I think we panicked a bit … our defensive rotations were not where they needed to be,” Coach Moseley said after the game.
Simply put, UW will work on “execution and being more gritty on the defensive end” during practice this upcoming week, according to Moseley.
After an alarming misstep versus a non-conference team, Wisconsin faces its first road test against Bradley on Nov. 19, followed by a matchup with Chicago State at the Kohl Center on Nov. 22.