Sophomore forward Danielle Ward led all players with 16 points, while four of her teammates also notched double-figure points to help Wisconsin to a 66-56 win over the Lady Lions (11-14 overall, 5-9 Big Ten) in front of a nearly empty Kohl Center, due to heavy snow fall in the Madison area. Sophomore guard Jolene Anderson finished with 14 points, a game-high 12 rebounds and five assists, while senior guard Ashley Josephson, senior forward Jordan Wilson and sophomore guard Janese Banks each contributed 11 points for the Badgers. Banks also dished out five assists, while Ward grabbed six boards.
"I can't say enough about our players," Wisconsin head coach Lisa Stone said. "I challenged them in the most intense way I've ever done in my career and they answered my call."
Wisconsin (10-16, 4-10) shot just 35 percent in the first half and went into the break down 27-25 but came out hot in the second half, shooting14 of 26 for 54 percent from the field.
The Badgers were up by eight, 23-15, in the first half with six-and-a-half minutes remaining but PSU went on a 12-2 run to close out the half, giving them a narrow lead.
Wisconsin opened the second half with a 16-5 run that allowed the Badgers to take a 41-32 lead, which they never relinquished. Josephson gave the Badgers a boost, hitting two big 3-pointers during that stretch. Although the Lady Lions cut that lead to eight with under four minutes left, the Badgers never allowed PSU to get any closer.
Penn State, meanwhile, struggled to hit its shots, going 9-for-28 (32 percent) from the field in the second half and 20 of 57 (35 percent) overall. The Badgers, for the first time all season, held their opponent scoreless from 3-point range, as the Nittany Lions finished 0-for-7.
"We're starting to play really well and this is what we have been waiting for all year," Stone said. "We're going to have to make some noise in the (Big Ten) tournament. To do that, we have to continue doing what we did tonight."
Penn State junior forward Amanda Brown led the Lions with 14 points, and freshman guard Mashea Williams came off the bench to score 13. Williams previously scored a then-career high 20 points against Wisconsin in the Badgers' 69-54 loss at Penn State.
The Lady Lions played without starter junior forward Charity Renfro, who was recovering from a concussion sustained in practice, and sophomore guard Brittany Remmey (pulled hamstring), limiting their bench to just three players. Freshman guard Rashida Mark came off the bench to score eight points and contribute 11 rebounds, a team high for the Lions.