Wisconsin sophomore guard Jolene Anderson led all players with 18 points on 6-for-15 shooting as the Badgers (5-6 overall) lost their fourth straight in Madison. Wisconsin as a team finished 21 of 60 (35 percent) and 15 of 21 (71 percent) from the charity stripe. Western Illinois made 23 of 40 shots from the field and sank 21 of 24 free throws.
"We took 20 more shots than they did and made a few less," Wisconsin coach Lisa Stone said. "It's unfortunate. It's our home court and we need to shoot the ball better here."
Western Illinois (8-2) led 30-29 at halftime and the two teams were tied 34-34 with 17:48 left and later at 42-42 with 10 minutes to go. After Wisconsin freshman forward Caitlin Gibson hit a layup to tie the game at 42-42, WIU junior guard Rachel Reed, who finished with 10 points and four assists, made a layup to key a 9-0 run, giving the Westerwinds a 51-42 advantage with 8:35 remaining. Wisconsin came within five at 63-58 with 28 seconds left but the Westerwinds sank 6 of 6 free throws in the last 28 seconds to win.
"I thought defensively we didn't have that spark I was looking for in the first half," Stone said. "They shot 57 percent in the first half. I give them a lot of credit, they found some easy baskets. We didn't apply the pressure that we needed to and they did nothing different (from what) we had prepared for."
Sophomore guard Janese Banks scored 11 points and had five assists, five turnovers and five rebounds, while sophomore forward Danielle Ward contributed 10 points, two steals and four fouls. Gibson, who started against the Westerwinds and played 20 minutes, added six points, three rebounds, an assist and a steal.
Senior center Zane Teilane led the Westerwinds with 15 points and nine rebounds, while senior guard Laura Reeves had 13 points and senior forward Samantha Greer added 11.
The Badgers were out-rebounded 32-29 but the Westerwinds had twice the turnovers—18 compared to the Badgers' season-low nine.
"Probably the biggest stat for us is that we out-rebounded this team—and Wisconsin is a great, great rebounding team," Western Illinois coach Leslie Crane said. "They've been out-rebounding all of their opponents throughout this first semester. That was probably one of our biggest concerns, because that hasn't been this year one of our strong suits. Even though we had 18 turnovers, when you out-rebound people, that takes care of a lot of ills."