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Wisconsin women’s basketball: UW beats Penn State on Sunday afternoon

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The Badgers have now won two of their last three in conference play.

COLLEGE BASKETBALL: JAN 21 Michigan State at Wisconsin Photo by Lawrence Iles/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Wisconsin Badgers women’s basketball (5-13 overall, 2-6 Big Ten) was back in action on Sunday afternoon. Shortly after looking like they may go winless in conference play, the Badgers have now won two of their last three Big Ten contests. Led by graduate transfer Katie Nelson and junior Julie Pospisilova, UW defeated Penn State, 69-57.

Following what was most likely their worst performance of the season, Marisa Moseley’s team was firing on all cylinders on Sunday, putting together their most complete game of the season.

Despite falling behind in the first quarter, the Badgers battled back in the second. Nelson led a 13-4 UW run to start the second quarter and give Wisconsin their first lead of the game. Penn State punched back an immediate answer, going on a 10-3 run of their own to close the half, retaking the lead in the process. At the break, UW trailed 31-27.

UW took control of the game in the third quarter, ending the quarter on a 10-1 run. The Badgers outscored the Lady Lions 25-12 in the quarter. Nelson led the way with 10 third quarter points, Pospisilova added seven of her own. The Lions, led by junior Makenna Marisa, rallied back and were regain the lead at 39-35 halfway through the third.

The Badgers continued to do what they had done all afternoon, respond. Nelson sparked a 9-0 Wisconsin run that resulted in a 52-43 Badger lead at the end of the third. UW carried their momentum into the fourth quarter, maintaining their lead and closing out their first home conference win in 347 days.

It was not just a two-woman show for the Badgers on Sunday. Brooke Schramek added 13 points and eight rebounds in 38 minutes.

Overall, the Badgers outplayed the Lady Lions across the board. UW shot 44.4% from the field, 45.5% from beyond the arc and forced a whopping 23 turnovers. Additionally, Moseley’s squad dished out 16 assists, doubling their total from this week’s loss at No. 8 Michigan.

Moseley praised her team, highlighting the outstanding play of Nelson and Pospisilova: “I think we did an excellent job executing tonight against the zone to start and even when they went man, we were able to get the shots that we wanted. Super proud of our kids’ effort. Julie (Pospisilova) and Katie (Nelson) in particular were huge but all five players that were on the court at any given time stayed together. There was poise, execution and I can’t say enough about this team. We talked about our growth and we planted seeds in the summer and we’re starting to see some of those seeds bloom.”

Notable stat-lines:

  • Katie Nelson: 24 points, three assists, six rebounds, three steals
  • Julie Pospisilova: 23 points, three assists, two steals
  • Brooke Schramek: 13 points, eight rebounds
  • Halle Douglass: three points, five assists, four rebounds
  • Sydney Hilliard: six points, four assists, five rebounds, four steals

Up next: The Badgers hit the road this week, traveling to take on Nebraska on Thursday at 8 p.m. CT on Big Ten Network before heading to Minneapolis on Sunday to play the Golden Gophers.