Illini Split Season Series with Wisconsin
MADISON, Wis. – The Fighting Illini women’s basketball team came into Sunday’s contest at Wisconsin looking for a season sweep of the Badgers after a dominant win in the first matchup at State Farm Center last month. But despite a double-double effort from sophomore forward Kendall Bostic, the Illini dropped a 70-62 decision at UW’s Kohl Center to finish with a regular-season split of the series.
Bostic led the Illini (6-12, 1-6 B1G) with a career-high tying 15 points and 13 rebounds to notch her fourth double-double of the season. She was joined in double-figures scoring by graduate guard Sara Anastasieska, who returned to the starting lineup for the first time since Dec. 22 and delivered 13 points, including 10 in the first half.
Freshman guard Adalia McKenzie also impressed in the loss, pulling down a career-high eight rebounds to go along with six points off the bench, while fellow first-year guard Jayla Oden, making the first start of her collegiate career, added eight points while dishing out a team-leading five assists.
The Illini opened the game with a 12-8 lead in the first quarter before Wisconsin (6-16, 3-9 B1G) closed the period on a 10-0 run. UW’s scoring run continued early in the second with the first four points of the period giving the Badgers a 22-12 lead. The Illini answered with a 10-0 run to knot the game with five minutes left before half. But UW closed the first half on a 13-2 run to lead by double-digits at the break.
Illinois continued to battle, despite shooting woes that saw the team miss their first 11 three-point attempts. The Orange and Blue outscored the host Badgers in both the third (18-17) and fourth quarters (20-18) and made it a two-possession game, 55-49, with 4:15 to play. However, Wisconsin sealed the win from the free-throw line by hitting six of eight attempts in the final 40 seconds.
Next up, Illinois opens a three-game home stand on Wednesday, playing host to No. 6/5-ranked Indiana at State Farm Center. Tipoff between the Illini and the Hoosiers is set for 7 p.m. CT, and the game will be streamed live on B1G+.
- The Fighting Illini move to 6-12 overall (1-6 B1G), and are now 0-8 in games played away from State Farm Center.
- Sunday’s game marked the first in 14 days for the Illini who had a stretch of three games postponed due to the on-going COVID-19 pandemic and Winter Storm Landon.
- Illinois falls to 39-41 all-time vs. Wisconsin. The loss snaps a two-game win streak in the series for the Illini.
- The Illini entered the game ranked 77th nationally in three-point shooting (.331) but missed their first 11 attempts on Sunday before finishing 4-for-17 (.235), the team’s third-lowest single-season three-point effort of the year.
- Illinois used its seventh different starting lineup of the season as freshman Jayla Oden earned her first start at point guard and opened the game along with Jada Peebles, Aaliyah Nye, Sara Anastasieska, and Kendall Bostic.
- Freshman G Jayla Oden, making the first start of her collegiate career and scored eight points while dishing out a team-leading five assists, which tied her personal high. It marked the fifth time this season that Oden led the team in assists.
- Oden also tallied career highs in minutes (30) and free-throws made and attempted (6-for-6) vs. the Badgers.
- Graduate G Sara Anastasieska started, who earned her first start since Dec. 22 vs. Mizzou, tallied 10 points at halftime and finished with 13. It is her fifth game in double-figures scoring as an Illini.
- Sophomore F Kendall Bostic recorded her fourth double-double of the season with a career-high tying 15 points and a game-high 13 rebounds Bostic’s 15 points are her most as an Illini, surpassing the 14 she scored in the season-opener vs. N.C. Central, and matching her 15-point career-high established vs. St. Francis (PA) as a freshman at Michigan State last season.
- It marks Bostic’s 13th game of the season with 10+ boards. She entered the game ranking first in the Big Ten and fifth nationally at 11.88 rebounds per game, and has led the Illini in rebounding in 14 consecutive games, and 17 of 18 games overall this season.
- Freshman G Adalia McKenzie pulled down a career-high eight rebounds, surpassing her previous best of seven vs. Purdue on Jan. 20.
Credit Source: University of Illinois Athletics
Scalia’s 24 points marks the 14th game in a row the Stillwater, Minn., native has scored in double figures, a career long streak, and it gives her eight games this year scoring 20 or more points. Alexia Smith scored her most points against a Big Ten opponent with 13 off the bench while Deja Winters scored 10 points as well.
Minnesota dug itself a hole early in the contest with Michigan State scoring the first eight points of the contest before the Gophers closed the quarter with nine of the final 11 points to pull back to 17-14. Down 10-3, Scalia went on to score the Gophers final 11 points of the quarter to pull Minnesota back into the game.
The second quarter saw momentum fully swing in favor of the Maroon and Gold. Starting off with a Smith and-one, Minnesota erupted for an 8-0 run that extended from the end of the first quarter. As a team the Gophers were moving the ball well early with seven of their first 10 shots being assisted and the lead grew to as much as seven at 31-24. MSU responded with six straight points in the quarter to pull within one before Smith hit a shot in the corner to put Minnesota up by two possessions heading into the locker room at 36-32. Outscoring the Spartans 22-15, the Gophers shot 50 percent from the floor in the second quarter and hit six of their 14 shots from beyond the arc in the first half.
After the teams went back and forth for the first three minutes of the second half it was an and-one by Smith that sparked an 11-0 Minnesota run to push the lead to a game-high 15 points at 56-41. During the run four different Gophers scored including four from Edina, Minn., native Bailey Helgren. By the end of the quarter the Spartans had pulled the game back to a single-digit game at 59-50.
In the fourth Michigan State came as close as six points off a DeeDee Hagemann triple with 9:13 to go, but Minnesota continually made shots down the stretch to keep the Spartans at arms length. In a clutch moment with 6:38 to go in the fourth, Helgren made a pair of plays that ended up being a five-point swing for the Maroon and Gold. Helgren blocked a wide open Spartan shot on one end of the floor and raced to the other side where she snagged an offensive rebound and found Winters in the corner to put Minnesota up 64-53. The rest of the game was salted away by Scalia hitting five free throws and giving Minnesota its second-straight home win.
Collectively Minnesota shot 25-of-64 (39.1 percent) from the floor while hitting 8-of-25 from deep. The Gophers won the rebound battle 39-36, which included a 13-7 advantage in the fourth quarter.
Minnesota will play No. 21/24 Iowa (15-5, 9-2 B1G) on the road in their next game on Feb. 9, at 6:30 p.m. The game, that was previously scheduled to be played on Feb. 10, will be broadcast on B1G+ and can be heard on KFAN+.
For more information on the Gophers, continue to check back with GopherSports.com. Keep up with the University of Minnesota women’s basketball on Twitter and Instagram (@GopherWBB) and on Facebook, so you do not miss any content during the 2021-22 season.
GAME NOTES: Gadiva Hubbard passed head coach Lindsay Whalen for the fifth-most minutes played at Minnesota on Sunday afternoon; Alexia Smith’s 13 points is the most she has scored against a Big Ten opponent in her career, eclipsing her 11-point performance against Illinois (3/5/21); Minnesota’s two best games on the offensive glass during the Big Ten season have been against Michigan State with 19 coming on Jan. 23 and 17 coming on Sunday night; Minnesota has now made over 200 threes this season as a team, 204 to be exact, passing the 2016-17 team for the fifth most in a single season.
MADISON, Wis. — Celebrating National Girls & Women in Sports Day, the Wisconsin’s women’s basketball team avenged an early-season loss to Illinois, downing the Fighting Illini, 70-62, in the Kohl Center Sunday afternoon.
In an all-around team win, Wisconsin (6-16, 3-9 B1G) had four players score in double figures for just the second game this season. Sophomore Brooke Schramek scored a game-high 17 points, just one point short of her career best. Katie Nelson added 14 points while Julie Pospisilova chipped in 13 points. Sophomore Halle Douglass tied her career high with 12 points while junior Tara Stauffacher tied her career best with nine points, shooting 4-5 from the field.
As a team, Wisconsin shot 47.2% (25-53), including 39.1% (9-23) from 3-point range. Illinois (6-12, 1-6) shot 39% (23-59) from the field, including 23.5% (4-17) from behind the arc. The Illini edged the Badgers from the free-throw line, shooting 80% (12-15) while Wisconsin hit 64.7% (11-17).
Wisconsin dished off a season-high 21 assists on 25 made field goals with Pospisilova recording a career-best nine helpers. Nelson added six dimes. The Badgers turned the ball over just 13 times while the Illini had 14 turnovers and 14 assists. UW outscored Illinois 18-11 off turnovers and 18-11 on fast breaks.
Pospisilova just missed a triple-double, adding nine rebounds, which tied her career best. Wisconsin pulled down 31 boards while Illinois had 37 rebounds. Douglass added eight rebounds, just one short of her career high.
Wisconsin went on a tear late in the first period. Trailing 12-8 with 3:37 on the clock, the Badgers went on a 12-0 run, behind five points from Pospisilova, to lead 18-12 at the end of one quarter.
The Badgers extended their lead to 22-12 at 8:49 in the second quarter before Illinois retaliated with a 10-0 run of their own to tie the score at 22 with 5:12 to go in the half. Wisconsin closed the half on a 13-2 run in the final five minutes of the second quarter, sending them into the locker room with a 35-24 lead.
After a near-even third period, UW led 55-42 with 8:17 to play but Illinois cut the lead to just five (57-52) with 2:46 remaining. Five straight points from Douglass gave the Badgers a 62-52 lead with 1:47 on the clock. The Fighting Illini made it a seven-point game (64-57) with 1:03 to play but Wisconsin sealed the win from the free-throw line, netting 6-8 in the final 51 seconds.
Straight from the Court
Head Coach Marisa Moseley
“I think it was the complete team effort. We got contributions from everybody and to me that was huge. We’ve been preaching share the ball and make extra passes, and I felt like we started to see that more and more today. The crowd was awesome so for us to be able to make a statement about where we’re headed and to get new eyes and young eyes on our program and have people say, ‘I want to go to a Badgers game. I want to be in the building.’ Collectively it was just a win all around.
“We are not as good of a team when Brooke is not on the floor. She is aggressive and plays hard. She wants to do the right thing. She was huge tonight on both ends. Her versatility is just a lot to work with. She can knock in threes, she is able to score in the paint, she can pass the ball a little bit, so it was great to see her come out and be able to do a little bit of all of that. I’m proud of her and I hope to see this trend keep going.
“We’ve talked about starts and we’ve also talked about finishes. The way we start practice is the way we start games and the way we end practice is the way we end games. We have really focused and I think it takes maturity. I think we have matured over the season to understand. I called a timeout with five minutes left, a nine-point game at that point, and I told them we are not going to give this game away. We are going to win this game. So for them to come out and respond and handle the pressure and execute, that shows a ton of growth from the beginning of the season to now.”
Notes to Know
- Sophomore Halle Douglass tied her career high with 12 points, making a career-high five field goals. The 6-foot-1 forward scored in double figures for the fourth game this season and pulled down eight rebounds, just one off her career best.
- Grad student Katie Nelson tied her season high, making six free throws.
- Junior Julie Pospisilova just missed a triple double with 13 points, a career-high nine assists and tying her career high with nine rebounds.
- Sophomore Brooke Schramek scored 17 points, just one off her career high, tying her career best with six made field goals. The 6-foot one forward shot 6-7 (85.7%) from the field, including 1-1 from 3-point range.
- Junior Tara Stauffacher tied her career high with nine points, shooting 4-5 (80%) from the field, tying her career high with four made field goals.
- Wisconsin scored 70 points, the second-most points in a game this season.
- The Badgers dished off a season-high 21 assists while turning the ball over 13 times for an assist-to-turnover ratio.
- UW improves to 3-3 on Sundays in Big Ten play.
- Wisconsin drew a season-high crowd of 6,007, the most fans since Jan. 19, 2020.
Wisconsin travels to No. 17 Maryland Wednesday night to face off with the Terrapins. Opening tip is scheduled for 5 p.m. CT on BTN+.
Credit Source: University of Wisconsin Athletics