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Wisconsin shocks No. 5 Ohio State in Big Ten Tournament

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Lights out shooting propels No. 13 Badgers to quarterfinals

Dan Sanger

No 13-seed has ever made it to the quarterfinals of the Big Ten women’s basketball tournament.

Well, at least not until Thursday.

Fresh off of a revenge win over Penn State, the Wisconsin Badgers shocked the Big Ten by knocking off No. 5 seed Ohio State in a 73-63 win.

Down 32-22 at halftime, it looked like the Badgers’ season was over against the much higher seeded Buckeyes. Ohio State outscored Wisconsin (15-17) 17-10 in the second quarter thanks to UW’s 20 percent field goal shooting.

The Badgers woke up in the second half via blazing three-point shooting and solid defense. For the game, the Badgers hit 11 of 17 threes for an amazing 64.7 percent beyond the arc. Seniors Kelly Karlis and Marsha Howard led the Badgers with 24 and 23 points, respectively. Karlis was a perfect 4-of-4 on threes, and Suzanne Gilreath contributed nine points on 3-of-4 shooting from downtown.

After whittling the deficit down to three at the end of the third quarter, Wisconsin kept the energy up in the fourth quarter, quickly taking the lead on a Howard fade-away jumper.

Ohio State briefly regained the lead, but fans in attendance knew something special was going on when freshman Imani Lewis hit her first collegiate three to regain the lead. Wisconsin never looked back and coasted to victory.

“At this time of year, it comes to your seniors,” Tsipis told the Big Ten Network after the game. Thanks to Karlis and Howard, their career at UW has been extended at least one more game.

Additionally, the normally poor free-throw shooting Badgers turned that weakness into a strength against OSU, going 18-of-23 from the line to hold onto the fourth quarter lead.

After going 0-2 against PSU in the regular season, the Badgers beat the Lions in the first round of the tournament. Similarly, Wisconsin went 0-2 against OSU in the season, but the third time was the charm.

Up next for Wisconsin is No. 4 seed Michigan, who beat Wisconsin twice this year. If the Badgers can keep up their sharp shooting, the barrel may keep rolling for Bucky.