With 6,007 members of the Badger faithful packed into the Kohl Center, Marisa Moseley’s Wisconsin Badgers (6-16, 3-9 Big Ten) edged out Nancy Fahey and the Illinois Fighting Illini (6-12, 1-6) 70-62 Feb. 6.

With limited scoring from both squads early on, the Big Ten foes went back and forth and were tied four different times within the first seven minutes of regulation.

Powered by seven first-quarter points from sophomore Brooke Schramek, the Badgers scored four unanswered field goals including three from long-range. Wisconsin totaled seven makes and six assists during the opening frame — enough to establish a six-point advantage heading into the second. 

UW continued its impressive offense in the following frame and extended its scoring run to 14 within the first minute of the second. But, U of I’s full-court press quelled the Badger’s pace and helped ignite a burst of their own, enough to make it a tie ballgame.

UW fought back and responded with another momentum-shifting 13-2 scoring run to close the back-and-forth quarter. Backed by nine points from Brooke Schramek and eight from Julie Pospíšilová, the Badgers held an 11-point edge by intermission and shot 53.8% in the first half. 

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Despite being out-rebounded 9-2 within the first 6:30 minutes of the second half, the UW lead ballooned to 15 after Tara Stauffacher made a three-pointer and denied a layup in back-to-back possessions. Illinois had a strong period with 12 bench points and outscored the Badgers 18-17, but Fahey’s group still trailed by 10 approaching the final stretch. 

U of I played well during crunch time, but started slow and failed to score until the 6:21 mark of the fourth. With only three UW points in roughly five minutes, the Illini cut the lead to five with 2:46 to spare.

On perhaps the most important sequence of her young career, Halle Douglass connected on a three-pointer and layup in consecutive possessions to bring the lead to 10. From that point on, U of I intentionally fouled UW, and Katie Nelson iced the game with four free throws in under a minute.

UW’s stout shooting performance and leveled offensive display bridged the gap between victory and defeat on Sunday afternoon. Wisconsin boasted four double-digit scorers, including nine points off the bench from junior Tara Stauffacher, as well as 25 made field goals off of 21 assists.

Despite collecting 37 boards, 18 bench points and 15 field goals in the paint, the Fighting Illini registered a dismal 23.5% split from behind the arc. It was not enough firepower to compete with a respectable 47.2% from the floor and 39.1% from downtown from Moseley’s group. UW showcased its composure and led for over 30 minutes of regulation on Sunday afternoon. 

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Without star Sydney Hilliard, junior Julie Pospíšilová nearly posted a triple-double. The versatile guard scored 13 points, distributed nine assists and brought in nine rebounds with a stellar 60% from three-point range.

Sophomore Brooke Schramek amassed a team-high 17 points and pulled down five rebounds, making a big impact down low. Per usual, point guard Katie Nelson remained on the hardwood for the entire contest, logging 14 points to go along with six assists and three steals. 

For U of I, forward Kendall Bostic posted her fourth double-double of the year with 15 points and 13 rebounds. In just 24 minutes, guard Sara Anastasieska punched in six field goals for 13 points and pulled down five rebounds. Freshman Jayla Oden contributed with eight points and five assists with a perfect 6-6 effort from the charity stripe.

Looking ahead, the Badgers travel to College Park, Maryland for a visit with the nationally ranked Terrapins on Feb. 9.