After the buzzer sounded, women's basketball coach Lisa Stone raced up the stairs of the Kohl Center, heels and all, to meet her family after an emotional first home victory for the Badgers' new coach, 76-73.
"I lost my mind there for a minute," Stone said. "Particularly with heels on and a dress…It's going to be a night I won't lie awake looking at the ceiling anymore, or maybe I will because I'm so excited."
With the scored tied at 73 after Iowa State junior guard Anne O'Neil made two free throws with 17 seconds remaining, the Badgers took a timeout. With the ball inbounded to Ashley Josephson, the sophomore guard drove to the basket, made the bucket, drew a foul and converted her free throw to give Wisconsin a 76-73 win.
"This is going to start something," Stone said. "We just a got a shot of energy injected into us and some confidence. And we need to carry this over."
Josephson finished with 13 points for the the Badgers, who moved to 3-3 on the season. Iowa State fell to 3-2.
All five Badger starters ended the game in double figures, and the team had strong performances off the bench from sophomore forward Jordan Wilson (seven points) and freshman guard Kandace Evans (six). Senior forward Lello Gebisa led Wisconsin scorers with 17 points, and junior guard Stephanie Rich had eight assists.
Despite some late first half turnover issues, Wisconsin's performance during the initial session was virtually flawless. The Badgers had nine turnovers in the first half, but capitalized with 20 points off 14 ISU turnovers. Despite some soft Wisconsin passing that resulted in seven steals, Iowa State was only able to score three points.
Wisconsin shot a strong 48.4 percent from the field in the first half with 6-of-11 shooting behind the arc; forward Ebba Gebisa led UW with eight points and Wisconsin took a 41-25 lead into the half.
Height continued to lead to advantages for the Badgers on the offensive end of the court by creating second chance opportunities. Despite both teams ending with 32 rebounds, the 16 offensive rebounds the Badgers mustered, resulted in 12 second chance points to the Cyclones' six.
Defensively the height advantage also came into play. The Badgers switched from the zone defense they had employed in recent games to a man-to-man defense and the long arms of Wisconsin helped expose weaknesses in the ISU offense, in particular ball handling.
"There's sometimes when you can't do anything about it," ISU coach Bill Fennelly said regarding the Badger height advantage. "They just reach over the top of you and grab the ball…But really I thought our ball handling in the first half was what let us down."
Three point attempts played a huge factor for both benches, and while ISU only made one more than the Badgers, their performance behind the arc played a huge part in two large comebacks in the second half, the first bringing the score to within four midway through the second and a 20-8 run late in the game that tied it at 73-73 with 17 seconds left, setting the stage for Josephson's heroics.
Score by half
Iowa State - (Field goals-Free Throws-Points) - Eric Junod (7-0-18), Lyndsey Medders (6-2-15), Megan Ronhovde (4-3-14), Anne O'Neil (1-6-9), Lisa Kriener (2-4-8), Mary Fox (3-0-7), Brittany Wilkins (1-0-2). Totals: 24-15-73.
Wisconsin - (Field goals-Free Throws-Points) - Lello Gebisa (6-5-17), Ashley Josephson (5-1-13), Emily Ashbaugh (4-4-12), Ebba Gebisa (3-2-11), Stephanie Rich (4-0-10), Jordan Wilson (3-1-7), Kandace Evans (2-0-6). Totals: 27-13-76.
Three point goals - Iowa State 10 (Junod 4, Ronhovde 3, Fox, O'Neil, Medders), Wisconsin 9 (E. Gebisa 3, Rich, Josephson, Evans 2).
Rebounds - Iowa State 32 (Kriener 9), Wisconsin 32 (L. Gebisa 8).
Assists - Iowa State 13 (Medders 5), Wisconsin 21 (Rich 8). Turnovers - Iowa State 18 (O'Neil 5), Wisconsin 12 (Rich 4).
Blocks - Iowa State 1 (Wilkins), Wisconsin 3 (L. Gebisa). Steals - Iowa State 9 (Medders 4), Wisconsin 4 (Rich 3). Fouls - Iowa State 19, Wisconsin 18. Fouled out - Kriener (ISU).
Points - in the paint: Iowa State 20, Wisconsin 16 - Off turnovers: Iowa State 8, Wisconsin 29 - Fast break: Iowa State 0, Wisconsin 4 - Bench: Iowa State 16, Wisconsin 13 - Second chance: Iowa State 6, Wisconsin 12.