Wanting to kick off 2019 on a high note, the Wisconsin women’s basketball team ended 2018 with a Big Ten Conference win on Monday afternoon in the Kohl Center. The Badgers celebrate New Year’s Eve early with a 76-69 win over Purdue.
Wisconsin (10-4, 1-1 B1G) came out strong in the first quarter behind the play of senior Kelly Karlis as she scored eight of the UW’s 16 points in the quarter, including two 3-pointers. UW out scored the Boilermakers (10-5, 1-1) 16-13 in the period, but the best was yet to come.
At the half, the Badgers led 34-31, but that was as close as the score would get as UW used a 7-0 scoring run over the first three minutes of the third quarter to grab a 10-point lead. Karlis scored a fast-break lay in with 7:10 left in the period to put Wisconsin up 41-31. Another scoring run, this time 11-0, gave the Badgers a 53-36 lead with 4:49 left in the quarter. UW outscored Purdue 27-15 in the period to lead 61-46, which it needed as the Boilermakers made a big run in the fourth quarter.
The Badgers extended their lead to 21 points (69-48) with 7:43 to play in the game before Purdue started cutting into the advantage. The Boilermakers used 14-2 advantage, including an 11-0 run, to pull within six points (71-65) with 2:55 on the clock. Neither team was able to score until Niya Beverley hit a driving layup with 33 seconds remaining to put Wisconsin up 73-65 and the game out of reach.
UW shot 50 percent from the field (29-58), an outstanding 53.3 percent beyond the arc (8-15), and a solid 62.5 percent from the line (10-16). Purdue shot 43.5 percent from the field (27-62), but only 28.6 percent from 3-point range (6-21). The Boilermakers also shot 9-12 (75 percent) from the line.
Karlis led the team with a career-high 17 points, shooting 7-10 from the field and 3-for-4 from 3-point range. Freshman Imani Lewis, sophomore Niya Beverley and freshman Alex Luehring also scored in double figures with 10 points each. Seven Badgers tallied eight-or-more points in the game.
Beverley also led the team with a career-high nine assists while Lewis grabbed three steals. Wisconsin has 20 assists in the game while giving up the ball 16 times. Junior Abby Laszewski stood strong and tall with three huge blocks for the Badgers.
UW dominated off the bench with 26-9 points and out blocked Purdue 8-6.
The Boilermakers grabbed more boards than UW by an advantage of one (36-35), but UW would outscore Purdue 32-28 in the paint.
Purdue was led by Karissa McLaughlin, who recorded a double-double with a game-high 19 points and 11 assists.