The win over Minnesota was played in front of 15, 269 fans, a number that ranks fifth on Wisconsin?s all-time attendance list. That mark, to date, also is the fifth-largest single game in the nation this year.
Jolene Anderson scored 15 points while rookies Rae Lin D'Alie and Mariah Dunham tallied 14 and 11 points, respectively. The Badgers shot an impressive 45.7 percent (26-of-69) shooting from the field and missed just two free throws all day, hitting 13-of-15 for 86.7 from the charity stripe.
Perhaps the highlight of the game was Wisconsin's seven turnovers, the fewest in Kohl Center history by any team. The seven miscues also tied the school record. Ironically, the previous building record was eight turnovers against the Golden Gophers last season and the school record was first set at Minnesota back in 2002.
The only battle Wisconsin came up short on was in the rebounding department. The Golden Gophers outrebounded UW 41-39 for the game. Danielle Ward led the Badgers with nine boards while Banks pulled down eight and Anderson tallied six.
Individually, freshman Annie Crangle returned to the court for the first time since the season-opener at Air Force.
Sophomore Emily Fox led Minnesota (13-9, 5-4 Big Ten) with 20 points and Ashley Ellis-Milan added 14. The Gophers' leading scorer coming into the game, Kelly Roysland, missed the game because of an injury.
After entering the second half with a 17-point lead, Minnesota would get no closer than 12 points with just 2:12 remaining in the game. Wisconsin's largest lead was a 22-point advantage, 45-23, with 17:41 to play in the game.
The Badgers propelled their way into the halftime break after a 17-0 run to close out the first half. Minnesota did not score a single point for the final 7:17 of the period. UW shot a solid 45.7 percent from the field in the first half and was .500 (4-of-8) from 3-point land.
The game was evenly matched out of the gate. Minnesota's largest lead was three points at three different times in the first 12 minutes of the game. The Badgers evened up with the Gophers and took their first lead since the 13:37 mark with a Dunham jumper to make it 19-17. Minnesota would tie the game on the next possession for a 19-19 game but it would prove to be the final bucket of the half for the Maroon and Gold. The Badgers' 17-0 run was sparked back-to-back 3-pointers from Banks and a fast-break layup by Anderson on an outlet pass from Banks after pulling down a rebound under Minnesota's basket.
Banks finished the first half with 10 points while Anderson and Dunham each totaled nine scores. The Gophers led 24-19 on the boards but shot just 20.7 from the field in the first half.
Wisconsin hits the road for a pair of conference games next week. Indiana is up first with a 6 p.m. tip Thursday in Bloomington, Ind.
* Today's attendance was a season-high 15,269. That figure ranks as the fifth-highest in school history and is the fifth-largest crowd for an NCAA women's basketball game in the country this season.
* Wisconsin leads the all-time series with Minnesota, 29-28. The two teams split its games in 2006-07, both winning on their respective home floors.
* With Minnesota's Kelly Roysland out because of an injury, there were no seniors on the floor today for either team.
* Wisconsin is 11-2 in the Kohl Center this season. The only losses were to Ohio State and Illinois.
* Wisconsin tied a school record and set a Kohl Center record with seven turnovers against Minnesota. The previous KC record was set last year vs. Minnesota (2/9/06), when the Badgers committed eight miscues. The school record of seven turnovers was first set at Minnesota back on Feb. 22, 2001.
* Four players reached double figure scoring for Wisconsin on the year: Janese Banks (20), Jolene Anderson (15), Rae Lin D'Alie (14) and Mariah Dunham (11). UW is 7-0 this season when four or more players reach the double digit mark.
* The Badgers, who led 36-19 at the break, are 14-0 this season when leading at the half.
* Wisconsin ended the first half on a 17-0 run to lead 36-19 at the break. Minnesota was held scoreless for the final 7:17 of the first period.
* Rookie Annie Crangle returned to the court with 31 seconds left in the game. She missed the previous 19 games. Her only action this year was in the Air Force game to open the season.
* Jolene Anderson tallied her 75th double-digit game (of 79 games) after scoring 15 points against Minnesota.
* Janese Banks tied her personal-best mark with three made 3-pointers against the Gophers. She had previously made three treys two times in her career before today.
* Rae Lin D'Alie has notched double figure scoring the Wisconsin's last three games.
Wisconsin Head Coach Lisa Stone
On the 22-2 run at the end of the first half and seven total turnovers: "Impressive. I'm so proud of our kids. They came in and have never seen this many people. Boy, Badger fans, thank you for coming out. Obviously a great cause, but you saw a nice, young team that's really on the rise and we are really excited about it. Seven turnovers, and two at the half. I didn't tell my team about that. I wanted them to continue to keep playing. I didn't actually want the first half to end because things were going so well. Again, we beat a team who forced us into 25 turnovers the first time and played very physical basketball. And being short-handed, I thought their kids played certainly courageously. I'm proud of our players. We got good contributions from a lot of people. We shared the ball really well offensively and defensively, that's the defense we saw some signs of early in the season."
On playing a well-rounded game: "It's a great deal and everyone got to play too in front of this group. I know the McFarland group wanted to see Ericka out there and try and get a shot off. And our kids are wanting her to score. The bottom line is it was a great team effort, a lot of celebration certainly, an alumni game with a lot of alumni back today, and great fan support. Altogether it was a shot in the arm that we needed. This is the time to make our push because we are playing for something now and we are really excited about it."
On taking advantage of Minnesota without their leading scorer: "I thought also we did a good job on Leslie Knight. Leslie Knight is a great player. I think she is just quality. She is a great student, a great person, a very hard worker * one of those lunch pail to work-type players. When she and Brittany (Heins) both evened out with the fouls in the first half, it was kind of even that way. But what a great rebounding team. They rebound very, very hard. There is a reason they lead the Big Ten in offensive boards. Again we stayed fairly even with them, and again I am proud of our kids. They committed to playing defense. We got offense from defense today, and that's when we?re at our best."
Minnesota Head Coach Pam Borton
Opening statement: "Obviously we're extremely disappointed with the loss. Our expectations have not lowered since we've lost Kelly Roysland in the starting lineup. I think we could have had a little better effort in the last 10 minutes of the first half and I think that's where we let the game go. I was overall pleased with our second half, but I think our defense and our lack of rebounding just really kind of says it all."
On the loss of Kelly Roysland: "We're not using any excuses for us not showing up ready to play today or even having Kelly Roysland on the floor. We just need other people doing what they're supposed to do out there and maybe just a little bit more. I think some of the people we have coming off the bench showed a little bit of youth and a little bit of inexperience out there. We're expecting to fill some big shoes out there. Kelly brings a little sense of calmness out there on the floor and you just kind of know that she's there and that she's going to hit a big shot when we need it. I think it gives everybody confidence just knowing that she's out there on the floor. I think that's what we missed tonight."
On the biggest area of adjustment for her team being the offense: "We've got different people taking shots. You've got Kelly Roysland averaging 14 shots a game and we?re asking other people to step up and do some different things offensively. That does not change what we're doing on the defensive end or the board and that?s where we gave the game away on that end of the floor."