Wisconsin annihilates Savannah State in 58-point victory

Image By: Leah Voskuil and Leah Voskuil

Simply dazzling. Or is dominating the right word? That’s about the only debate one can draw from the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s 82-24 annihilation of Savannah State University Sunday night at the Kohl Center.

The game really spoke for itself as the Badgers (7-5) clobbered the Lady Tigers (2-5) with grace and without mercy in record-breaking fashion. Literally, on both sides of the ball. It was a great bounce-back win for the Badgers, who came into the game after a tough loss against the Butler Bulldogs on the road Friday Night.

“When we met in the locker room Friday night at Butler, we understood we had another get-ready for a game in day,” head coach Jonathan Tsipis said. “I think tonight it was going to be about could we be great defensively and could we rebound the basketball, and could we share the basketball, and come out in an aggressive manner.”

UW most certainly responded positively to the challenge as its defense was absolutely stifling and completely thwarted the Lady Tiger attack. The 24 points given up by the Wisconsin defense broke the long-standing 42-year record for the least amount of points scored against ever. And the list of broken records goes on.

In addition, the Badger defense broke records for least amount of field goals allowed in a game —giving up only seven — as well as the record for the worst field goal percentage allowed in game,12.3 percent. UW also let up the least amount of assisted baskets in a single-game with two, tied for the fifth, sixth and seventh least amount of points given up in single quarter as well as in consecutive in consecutive quarters ( four, six, and five points). It also finished the night tied for the second and seventh least amount of points given up in a half of any game consecutively as well (10 and 14 points). The Badgers’ 58-point win served as the third-largest margin of victory in program history.

In non-record breaking news, the Badger defense made it difficult for the Lady Tiger offense to get anything started as they forced SSU to cough up the basketball 21 times and limited Savannah State’s star guard Kaylee Allen to a paltry 1-of-17 shooting from the field

On offense, the Badgers put on a masterful display, playing fundamental-team basketball. UW came out sharp and aggressive in the first half, executing its half-court offensive sets while leaking out into transition and finding open teammates cutting to the basket or shooters spotting up on the perimeter. Wisconsin assisted on its first 10 field goals and ended up assisting on 14-of-its-18 first-half baskets.

Marsha Howard led the Badgers tonight with her third-career double-double by taking advantage of post position, running the floor and stepping out for mid-range jumpshots. But the wealth was spread around as the Badgers had five players in double-figures tonight, the first time this season this has occurred. Those players included senior guard Cayla McMorris, sophomore guard Suzanne Gilreath, sophomore forward Courtney Fredrickson and graduate-transfer forward Kendall Shaw.

It was all smiles for UW tonight as Wisconsin visibly appeared to have fun during the game. Additionally, the “bench mob” made an appearance tonight as many of the Wisconsin players that see regular minutes found themselves jumping up and down on the sidelines for their teammates.

“I like it when the team can be successful and we are all happy and playing to our advantage,” Howard said. “Being able to cheer on everyone from the sidelines is always great.”

Cayla McMorris achieved her own milestone tonight, as she played in her 100th career game as a member of the University of Wisconsin women’s basketball team. A win to cap off the night could not be any sweeter for the senior guard.

“I’m just thankful to be here and play here,” McMorris said.

It was the perfect way end to a busy week for the Badgers.

“I think our team has a very well-deserved day off tomorrow,” Tsipis said.

Now, the Badgers must prepare for their last opportunity to beat an in-state rival as they host the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee at the Kohl Center Thursday Night.

“We’ve already addressed that tonight, that going forward our attention will be focused on getting ready for (Milwaukee),” Tsipis said. “They’ve won seven in a row and this is our last chance in our three in-state non-conference games to put a win on the board and show the growth and improvement we’ve had since that game last November.”

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