Prior to Saturday's contest with UW-Green Bay, Wisconsin point guard Stephanie Rich had connected on just 24 percent (16 of 66) of her shot attempts and just 26 percent (10 of 38) of her three-point attempts.
Against the Phoenix, though, Rich broke out of her mini slump in emphatic fashion, hitting four three-point shots and scoring 16 points in the first half on her way to a team-high 19 points. It was the highest scoring total of the season for Rich, who also chipped in five assists. Rich's scoring outburst helped Wisconsin move to 4-3 this season with a 56-48 road win over the Phoenix (5-3).
Wisconsin and Green Bay were tied, 19-19, midway through the first half before the Badgers turned it on, closing out the opening session with a 15-2 run. Rich's shooting and Wisconsin's defense led the way in the first half. The Phoenix scored just two points, an Amanda Popp layup with three minutes, 46 seconds left, in the final ten minutes, 49 seconds of the first half.
Green Bay essentially returned the favor in the second half, though, holding Wisconsin to one field goal in the session's first eight minutes to help close the gap to 36-33.
Badger sophomore guard Ashley Josephson responded to the Phoenix challenge with five points to spark an 11-1 run that pushed Wisconsin's lead back to the half-time cushion of 13 points, 47-34, with eight minutes left to play. Green Bay whittled the lead back down to eight points three times down the stretch, but could get no closer.
Rich was the only Badger to score in double figures and the team shot just 35 percent for the game. Wisconsin, though, took advantage of a strong team defensive effort, with senior center Lello Gebisa providing a solid presence in the paint with 10 rebounds and five blocks.
Josephson finished with nine points, three assists and two steals.
Score by half
Wisconsin - (Field goals-Free Throws-Points) - Stephanie Rich (5-5-19), Ashley Josephson (3-2-9), Lello Gebisa (2-3-7), Ebba Gebisa (3-0-7), Emily Ashbaugh (3-0-6), Jordan Wilson (2-0-4), Kandace Evans (1-0-2), Kjersten Bakke (0-2-2). Totals: 19-12-56.
UW-Green Bay - (Field goals-Free Throws-Points) - Abby Scharlow (7-3-19), Amanda Popp (2-4-8), Nicole Soulis (2-0-5), Tricia Grassell (2-0-5), Natalie Yudt (1-0-3), Natalie Berglin (1-0-3), Amy Fieck (1-0-3), Mary Kulenkamp (1-0-2). Totals: 17-7-48.
Three point goals - Wisconsin 6 (Rich 4, E. Gebisa, Josephson), Green Bay 7 (Scharlow 2, Yudt, Soulis, Grassell, Berglin, Fieck).
Rebounds - Wisconsin 46 (L. Gebisa 10), Green Bay 32 (Scharlow 6).
Assists - Wisconsin 14 (Rich 5), Green Bay 6 (Scharlow 4). Turnovers - Wisconsin 14 (Rich 5), Green Bay 13 (Scharlow, Kulenkamp 3).
Blocks - Wisconsin 8 (L. Gebisa 5), Green Bay 4 (Soulis 4). Steals - Wisconsin 8 (E. Gebisa, Josephson 2), Green Bay 8 (Scharlow 3). Fouls - Wisconsin 15, Green Bay 17.
Points - in the paint: Wisconsin 22, Green Bay 14 - Off turnovers: Wisconsin 3, Green Bay 10 - Fast break: Wisconsin 2, Green Bay 0 - Bench: Wisconsin 8, Green Bay 14 - Second chance: Wisconsin 10, Green Bay 7.