The Wisconsin Badgers women’s basketball team beat the Minnesota Gophers 81-77 in the highly anticipated border battle on Sunday afternoon. With 28 match-ups since 2001, the Gophers stepped onto the court with the upper hand, winning 21 times out of the 28 previous meetings.
But the Badgers, after losing their first four conference competitions, stepped onto the court for a win. They battled, and their hustle paid off. Putting pressure on their opponent, the Badgers created 19 Minnesota turnovers, and then they capitalized on that hard work by turning those turnovers in a whopping 27 points. Julie Pospisilova and Avery Labarbera led the Badgers with 20 points and seven rebounds each. Brooke Schramek added another 14 points to the mix, along with eight rebounds.
The game didn’t start with a bang for the Badgers, though. The team trailed 9-1 early on. Serah Williams stepped up and created a 9-2 run and the Badgers were behind by only two points (18-16) as they ended the first quarter.
The Badgers started stronger in the second quarter with an 8-0 run. The game continued neck and neck until half-time when the Badgers stepped off the court trailing 37-36.
The Badgers started the second half as strong as they started the second quarter. This time, creating a 9-0 run. In the third quarter, Pospisilova led the scoreboard with ten points and helped the Badgers take a 14-point lead with only five minutes on the clock.
Both teams continued to fight for the win while spectators sat on the edge of their seats. By the end of the third quarter, the score was tied at 62 each.
The fourth quarter proved just as exciting as the third. With only 1:51 remaining, Labarbera sunk a 3-pointer to pull the Badgers to an 80-77 lead. Natalie Leuzinger then blocked a critical 3-point attempt by Minnesota and Labarbera slipped in another point at the free-throw line before the final buzzer blew.
The Wisconsin Badgers women’s basketball team (8-8, 1-4 Big Ten) will be looking for a few more wins this month. First up, they face Michigan State on January 11th in East Lansing, Michigan.
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