A 57-39 loss to Indiana (12-16) Thursday in the first round of the Big Ten Tournament knocked the women's basketball team put a kibosh on head coach Lisa Stone's first season at Wisconsin. The team finished 10-17 overall, capping a season full of transitions, injuries and challenges.
Wisconsin lost sophomore Kjersten Bakke to a torn anterior cruciate ligament Feb. 25 and junior guard Stephanie Rich to a fractured right hand in the team's final regular season game against Ohio State Feb. 29, forcing the Badgers to make crucial adjustments to their lineup just before the tournament. Stone, who has changed her starting five a number of times throughout the season, had sophomore forward Jordan Wilson, junior forward Ebba Gebisa, senior center Emily Ashbaugh and sophomore guards Ashley Josephson and Erin Olson open against the Hoosiers. Josephson filled in for Rich, the Big Ten's assist leader this season, and struggled. Josephson, the team's leading scorer and the only person to start every game this season, had only two points and was 0-for-3 from behind the 3-point arc, typically a hot spot for her.
"We had three people today that were playing out of position," Stone said. "The statistics that jump off the sheet are rebounds and a poor shooting percentage."
The Badgers shot 31.4 percent for the game and were outrebounded 42-33. Wilson led the team in scoring with 11 points while Ashbaugh ended her career as a Badger with 10 points and a team-high nine rebounds. She will leave Wisconsin ranked No. 20 in scoring with 825 points, third in blocks with 113 and 15th in rebounding with 545. Senior center Lello Gebisa had seven points and eight rebounds and finished her two-year career at UW with 110 blocks, fourth in UW history.
For Indiana, junior forward Jenny DeMuth led all players with 15 points and also contributed eight rebounds. Sophomore guard Cyndi Valentin had 12 points and freshman center Sarah McKay had 10. The Hoosiers will next face top-seeded Penn State, Friday at 11 a.m.
Throughout a challenging season, Stone has remained refreshingly positive about her team's performance, praising them for the minor positives as well as the wins.
"The kids didn't quit," Stone said. "We were positive in every game. We worked hard in every game. There was never any animosity. We asked them to play different positions and they would do whatever I asked them to do.
"The personality of this team was to put the team ahead of themselves. We have improved miraculously from a turnover standpoint, from rebounding to our defensive intensity and from our ability to not give up; we competed."
Score by half
Indiana - (Field goals-Free throws-Points) - Jenny DeMuth (6-2-15), Cyndi Valentin (5-1-12), Sarah McKay (5-0-10), Angela Hawkins (3-2-8), Carrie Smith (3-0-7), Annika Boyd (1-0-3), Leah Enterline (1-0-2). Totals: 24-5-57.
Wisconsin - (Field goals-Free throws-Points) - Jordan Wilson (5-1-11), Emily Ashbaugh (5-0-10), Lello Gebisa (3-1-7), Erin Olson (1-1-4), Kandace Evans (1-1-3), Ashley Josephson (1-0-2), Ebba Gebisa (0-2-2). Totals: 16-6-39.
Three point goals - Indiana 4 (DeMuth, Valentin, Boyd, Smith), Wisconsin 1 (Olson).
Rebounds - Indiana 42 (Hawkins 13), Wisconsin 33 (Ashbaugh 9).
Assists - Indiana 12 (Valentin 5), Wisconsin 10 (Evans, Josephson 3) Turnovers - Indiana 12 (Hawkins 4), Wisconsin 15 (Wilson, Ashbaugh, Josephson 3).
Blocks - Indiana 5 (DeMuth, Enterline 2), Wisconsin 8 (L. Gebisa 4). Steals - Indiana 5 (five with 1), Wisconsin 3 (Evans 2) Fouls - Indiana 14, Wisconsin 10.
Points - in the paint: Indiana 36, Wisconsin 20 - Off turnovers: Indiana 10, Wisconsin 16 - Fast break: Indiana 6, Wisconsin 0 - Bench: Indiana 10, Wisconsin 10 - Second chance: Indiana 15, Wisconsin 7. Ties - 2. Lead changes - 4.