The Wisconsin Badgers (2-13 Big Ten, 5-13 overall) pulled off a massive upset against the No. 12 Ohio State Buckeyes (6-3, 12-3) with a potentially momentum changing 75-70 victory — the first victory over a top 15 team in eight years.
BADGERS WIN! Wisconsin knocks-off 12th ranked Ohio State tonight at the Kohl Center! pic.twitter.com/vZufAJc5dJ— Wisconsin Basketball (@BadgerWBB) February 11, 2021
At the end of the first quarter, the Badgers were tied with the Buckeyes in a close matchup. OSU took a five-point lead in the second quarter before Wisconsin pushed with a 11-0 run to take the lead and keep it at the half, where it was 41-37 at the break.
Junior Imani Lewis was the spark plug for Wisconsin the whole game. Lewis finished with a career-high 27 points as well as 14 rebounds — her ninth double-double of the season, which leads the Big Ten — and she was happy to see the team’s effort in practice lead to a victory.
“I’m excited about the win. I’m so happy for the win, but I’m so happy that we are now witnessing our hard work pay off,” Lewis said.
UW dominated the glass against OSU, out-rebounding the Buckeyes 49-34 on the night. Sophomore center Sara Stapleton also posted a double-double, finishing with 13 points and 10 boards. Postgame, she mentioned the work Wisconsin did to cut off Ohio State’s scoring ability.
“We all tried to really focus on cutting the runs off right away and then have our own big runs,” Stapleton said.
Head coach Jonathan Tsipis felt that both Lewis and Stapleton were super good and consistent inside for UW in the victory. He also said the energy brought by the team was something really positive for the Badgers.
“Throughout the game, I thought we were the team with more enthusiasm and more energy. The bench was doing a great job,” Tsipis said.
UW’s defense came to play on the night, holding the Buckeyes to .358 shooting on the night and an abysmal .217 from three point. Wisconsin did most their work in the interior, but had a really good performance from graduate senior Estella Mosckau from beyond the arc. The Madison-native hit 2-of-2 from three to post 10 crucial points.
Sydney Hilliard had a lesser night scoring than normal with 13 points, but posted 7 assists as Wisconsin picked up a huge upset victory in the Big Ten.
Next up, the Badgers will play at Minnesota on Valentine’s Day at 1:00 PM CST.