All good things must come to an end, but what a run. Wisconsin, seeded 13th, defied logic in the City of Champions at the 2019 Big Ten Tournament.
The Badgers played three games in three days including a double overtime thriller against the fourth-seeded Michigan in the quarterfinals on Friday. UW never gave up, but would ultimately fall to the Wolverines, 73-65, at Bankers Life Fieldhouse, ending the unbelievable Badgers run.
Wisconsin (15-18) and Michigan (21-10) traded buckets throughout the game. Despite the Wolverines leading the bulk of the first half and grabbing the largest lead, 18-11, in the first minute of the second quarter, UW would end the half on a 5-0 run to take the lead (29-28) outscoring Michigan 18-12 in the second quarter to stay in the game.
Sophomore Niya Beverley led the Badgers with 15 points including two from 3-point range. Three other Badgers shot in double figures — freshman Imani Lewis (13), senior Marsha Howard (12), and senior Kelly Karlis (10). Lewis and Karlis also both tallied three steals.
Junior Kendra VanLeeuwen led with a game-high eight assists.
With 3:50 left to play in regulation, Michigan led by seven (56-49), but Wisconsin rallied back to close out the fourth period with a 9-2 run to tie the game and bring it in to overtime (58-58).
The first overtime came down to a final free-throw for Lewis as she tied the game back up (63-63) with three seconds to play. The Badgers were unable to convert a last second shot for the win.
In double overtime, Howard and Laszewski both fouled out as the Wolverines ended on a 10-0 run, including six from the free-throw line, to secure the win over the Badgers, 73-65.
UW shot 37.1 percent (23-62) from the field, including 25 percent (4-16) from 3-point range and 62.5 percent (15-24) from the line.
Michigan would shoot 43.5 percent (27-62) from the field, including 18.2 percent (2-11) from beyond the arc, and 77.3 percent (17-22) from the free-throw line.
UW turned the ball over 16 times compared to Michigan's 19, and the Badgers grabbed 19 points off of the giveaways.
Michigan only had a three rebound advantage over Wisconsin (39-36).
UW led in steals with 11, including 11 points from fast breaks.
Hallie Thome led Michigan with 18 points and six assists while Naz Hillmon added 15 points and Hailey Brown grabbed 12 points for the Wolverines.
Notes to Know
• Sophomore Niya Beverley tied her career high with 15 points to lead the Badgers.
• Wisconsin tied a season high with 11 steals, including three apiece from Kelly Karlis and Imani Lewis.
Straight from the Court
"Unbelievable effort. I was really proud of our team. We have kids playing 38 minutes two nights in a row. They gave us everything they had and fought really hard. Credit to our kids. You can't ask for more than that. It has been an amazing three days.
"I hope our young kids see this and see how special this time is. I hope they can cherish it and be able to have a year to three years of having this type of opportunity in the Big Ten."
- Head coach Jonathan Tsipis
"Our strength coach did a great job of getting us ready each day, but it was pretty tiring today going into the third game, especially being so old. It was a big mental game because we knew we could push through it and get through those last few seconds."
- Senior Kelly Karlis
"My teammates were already telling me the legacy I left for them as I was walking off of the court and into the locker room. I am proud to say that I was a part of a group that was able to expand our game into the third round of the Big Ten Tournament and leave behind the will and fight to power through knowing that nothing is ever over. You always overcome obstacles as you compete and fight until that clocks says 0."
- Senior Marsha Howard