Jolene Anderson needed 24 points to reach 1,000 career points and become the fastest player in Wisconsin history—men’s or women’s—to do so.
Against Penn State (13-15 overall), she scored exactly 24, hitting a 3-pointer with 17 seconds left in the game.
But despite the sophomore guard’s efforts, the ninth seeded Wisconsin women’s basketball team (11-18) fell 80-73 to eighth seeded Penn State Thursday in the first round of the Big Ten Tournament, held in Indianapolis, Ind.
Badger senior forward Jordan Wilson contributed a season-high 15 points while Indianapolis native and sophomore guard Janese Banks added 10 before she fouled out.
Penn State junior guard Kamela Gissendanner paced the Lady Lions with 18 points on 7 of 15 shooting. Teammate junior forward Charity Renfro came off the bench to grab a game and career best 13 rebounds.
After coming into the second half down 36-27, the Badgers took their first lead, 39-38 at 16:55 in the second half. Penn State regained the lead and never relinquished it, going on a 6-0 run to make the score 44-39 a minute later.
Wisconsin trailed by just two, 66-64, with 3:58 left in the game, but Gissendanner hit a jumper to make it 68-64. The Badgers grabbed two of their seven steals on Penn State inbounds plays with less than 1:33 left but could not score. Meanwhile, PSU hit seven of nine free throws in the last minute to secure the win.
Wisconsin shot 41 percent from the field (26 of 63) and committed only eight turnovers, tying a season low. But the Badgers were out-rebounded 37-31, thanks partly to the work of Renfro, who accounted for more than one-third of her team’s boards. Anderson and sophomore forward Danielle Ward grabbed six rebounds each.
Penn State shot 49 percent on 26-for-53 shooting, thanks to Gissendanner, junior forward Amanda Brown, sophomore guard Adrienne Squire and freshman guard Brianne O’Rourke, all of whom scored in double digits.