After dropping five consecutive games, Marisa Moseley and the Wisconsin Badgers (3-9, 0-2 Big Ten) defeated Kristen Gillespie and the Illinois State Redbirds (3-7, 0-0 Missouri Valley Conference) 70-60 at the Kohl Center Thursday, Dec. 16.

The Badgers came out firing, hitting their first three shots and establishing an early eight-point advantage off a Halle Douglass look from deep. Gillespie’s group went 0-6 from behind-the-arc and did not tally an assist within the first ten minutes of regulation. With four steals and five points off turnovers along with 58.3% from the hardwood, the University of Wisconsin held a 16-8 lead following the opening period of play.

Wisconsin continued its excellent offensive display in the second quarter, recording a 10-2 run and stretching its lead to 17 with 4:06 to spare before the break. By intermission, Moseley’s group managed 24 points on 60% shooting from the field and a 66.7% clip from downtown, and despite shooting 75% from the field, Illinois State still trailed by 11 heading into halftime.

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Both teams caught fire in the third, combining for 22 points on 9/15 shooting from the floor within the first five minutes of the second half. The Redbirds cut UW’s lead to eight with 3:19 to go in the quarter, but the Badgers regained momentum and responded with a 4-0 run. Though Illinois State chalked up 18 points on seven field goals in the period, UW shot 53.8% off of 13 looks with five different players scratching the scoresheet.

The Redbirds couldn’t buy a bucket in crunch time, going 5-17 from the field and scoring their first points with six minutes remaining. With the help of an 8-3 scoring run and a few excellent looks from the perimeter, the Badger lead ballooned to 17 with under two minutes remaining, effectively bringing the contest to a close.

Though Illinois State got up nine more shot attempts than UW and only turned it over 12 times, Wisconsin was efficient with 53.8% shooting from the floor and 50% from the three-point range. The Badgers corralled nine more defensive rebounds, racked up six more assists and scored six more points in the paint. With five breakaway scores and a dismal 23% three-point performance from Illinois State, UW led for 94.7% of regulation — 37:53 minutes.

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Badgers star Sydney Hilliard, who returned to the starting lineup after missing Sunday’s match vs. Green Bay, notched 17 points with an impressive 72.7% shooting, grabbed three boards, dished out two assists and snatched two steals in 36 minutes of action.

Point guard Katie Nelson did not seem to miss, executing on 85.7% of her shots and hitting 5-6 of her three-point shots. Through 39 minutes, the Massachusetts native logged 17 points, distributed five assists and snagged six rebounds. As a starter, sophomore Halle Douglass showcased her versatility and scoring, pulling down nine rebounds and swatting away one attempt over 36 minutes. Junior Julie Pospíšilová put on a show as well, scoring 10, snatching two steals and tearing down three boards in her 34 minutes.

Fifth-year guard Juliunn Redmond, who was an all-conference performer for Illinois State a year ago, registered 16 points and a pair of assists in 38 minutes of action. Junior DeAnna Wilson garnered nine boards, four of those on the offensive glass, to go along with her 16 tallies off 58.3% from the field. Redshirt sophomore Maya Wong managed nine points from six attempts, while her teammate Kenzie Bowers accounted for seven points and two dimes.

Looking ahead, the Badgers face off next against the Eastern Illinois Panthers on Thursday, Dec. 23, in Madison.