Badgers burned in battle with Phoenix

first_imgJunior guard Alyssa Karel scored a game-high 21 points Tuesday night for the Badgers, but it was not enough as UW came up short against UW-Green Bay.[/media-credit]Wisconsin never led Tuesday night as the women’s basketball team lost its first game of the year, 60-58, to in-state rival UW-Green Bay at the Kohl Center.Despite trailing from the first minute and falling behind by as many as 14, the Badgers had the momentum, the ball and a chance to tie the game with 12 seconds left. Unfortunately for UW, junior guard Alyssa Karel, who led the team with a game-high 21 points, missed a runner along the baseline, and UWGB held on for its first win in Madison since 2002.Though the Badgers couldn’t convert in the late-game situation, head coach Lisa Stone said the focus shouldn’t be on just that one play.“There’s a lot of plays in a game,” Stone said. “This has nothing to do with 12 seconds or two seconds left to go in the game–we can’t dig ourselves that big of a hole. We have to come out swinging right from the get-go and execute.”It was the second game in a row that the Badgers fell behind by double-digits and clawed their way back into the contest. On Sunday, the Badgers overcame a 15-point deficit against Cleveland State to survive 70-68.While Stone said she was proud of the way her team again fought back, she noted that it can’t continue to put itself in those situations and be successful.“Courageous comeback by our team, but we can’t put ourselves in that kind of hole and expect to come out on top,” she said. “When you’re trailing you fight because that’s what you have to do. And we have to have that same fight from the tip when it’s 0-0.”Wisconsin fell behind 8-0 to start the contest, but cut the lead to three by the half. Early in the second half, however, fouls plagued the home team, as the Badgers found themselves over the limit with over 14 minutes remaining and allowed the Phoenix to make a living at the charity stripe.For the game UWGB shot 26-of-31 from the charity stripe, including 18-of-22 — 82 percent — in the second half. Wisconsin was 17-of-22 (77 percent) on the night.In addition to foul trouble, the Badgers struggled throughout the game to establish an interior presence. Starting forwards Tara Steinbauer and Lin Zastrow combined for just nine points, on 2-of-8 shooting, and just four rebounds, all by Zastrow.Luckily for Wisconsin, Karel kept the team within striking range with her hot hand. She poured in 13 of the Badgers’ 28 first half points and finished 10-of-16 from the floor, on an array of short jumpers and runners in the lane.The Phoenix held a 13-point lead with just over eight minutes remaining when a Karel layup, her first basket of the second half, jump-started a 12-0 run by the Badgers. Fellow guard Rae Lin D’Alie capped the surge with a fast-break layup with 1:32 remaining.The senior from Waterford, Wis., provided key defensive pressure and emotional intensity throughout the Badgers comeback, yet was noticeably unhappy with her night’s performance.“I’m disappointed with myself in particular because I had [energy] at the end of the game, but not at the beginning,” D’Alie said. “And that’s something I’m going to definitely change for this next game.”That next game for the Badgers will come Friday at the BTI Tip-Off Tournament in Eugene, Ore., where the team will face Portland State, Oregon and Cal-State Fullerton on three consecutive days.The tournament begins a stretch where the team will play eight games in 18 days prior to Big Ten play.As for Tuesday night’s emotional loss, Stone said one game does not a season make.“I believe in this basketball team. We played a really good team tonight who came in here and beat us, but this is one game. It doesn’t [change] my thoughts on what this team can do.”last_img read more

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