Zastrow’s career day not enough as UW falls to Northwestern

first_imgWisconsin junior forward Lin Zastrow\’s career-best 19 points weren\’t enough in a 68-62 home loss to the Northwestern Wildcats.[/media-credit]With six minutes remaining in the first half of the contest Sunday between Wisconsin (16-6, 6-5) and Northwestern (13-9, 3-7), a three-pointer from freshman Taylor Wurtz gave the Badgers a 14-point cushion, 24-10.From that point on, the pesky, hot-handed Wildcats outscored the home squad 58-38 — including a 47-18 point run that spanned the last six minutes of the first half and the first nine and one-half of the second — en route to a 68-62 road win, a final score that doesn’t do justice to the visitors’ second half dominance.The loss for Wisconsin was the team’s first when it featured three double-digit scorers and spoiled a career-day for junior forward Lin Zastrow, who led the Badgers with 19 points.Prior to Sunday, Wisconsin had not allowed more than 54 points in seven games.“We allowed 65 percent shooting in the second half and that is not who we are,” UW head coach Lisa Stone said. “We’re a defensive team and they got some open looks — a lot of open looks — and that’s something that we need to get back to work and focus on getting better.“[But we need to] move on to the next game, bottom line. … This is one that hurts, but it’s one that we can’t cry about too long.”Contributing greatly to the Wildcats’ 65 percent second half was a 9-for-9 start out of the intermission, a stretch that transformed a five-point halftime deficit into a 10-point margin for the purple and white.Both the eight three-point baskets and NU’s 53 percent three-point percentage were the most permitted by the Badgers’ usually stingy defense this season.The Wildcats were led all night by the reigning Big Ten Player of the Week, 6-foot-5 junior center, Amy Jaeschke, who finished with a game-high 20 points, along with 10 rebounds. Six-foot-2 freshman forward Kendall Hackney also posted 16 points and six boards.“[Wisconsin is] probably the best defensive team in the league, and I was really proud of our team tonight for just the way we attacked them, especially in the second half on offense,” Northwestern head coach Joe McKeown said. “This afternoon, we did a better job of spreading the floor, making better entry passes — they’re physical inside and it was hard to get the ball into Jaeschke, who’s a great player for us, but I felt we did a better job of reversing the ball and making the extra pass.”On the other end, though the Badgers finished with just 13 turnovers — two and one-half below their season average — they struggled to establish consistency against a myriad of defenses shown by the Wildcats.Most perplexing, though, was a three-quarter court 1-2-2 zone trap from NU, a strategic gamble that ended up disrupting Wisconsin’s comfort level offensively.“Offensively, we could not get any rhythm,” Stone said. “They’ve got some very nice size up front, and we sputtered. We only turned it over 13 times, but [the 1-2-2] did disrupt our flow. … When we came down on offense, the 1-2-2 forced us into speeding up — once we got over the trap, over that frontline and that second line — we sped up quite a bit and we just couldn’t get into a whole lot of rhythm in that second half offensively.”Despite the lack of rhythm, Wisconsin did get a second straight standout performance from Zastrow, the 6-foot-4 junior from Jefferson, Wis., who has tantalized spectators at times with her potential, but has yet to consistently put it all together.Zastrow attributed her recent success to a much implored change in mindset.“I think it’s just my mentality’s changed a little bit,” Zastrow said. “But I know my teammates and coaches have been on me about it and that gives me confidence, because I know they’re behind me. I know I gotta produce and show up every night, but it’s really my coaches and my teammates helping me out, changing my mentality.”In addition to the impressive offensive night from Zastrow, the Badgers also got 16 points from leading scorer Alyssa Karel — including nine in the final four minutes — and 10 from Rae Lin D’Alie, who also added seven assists, four rebounds and three steals.Ultimately, though, Northwestern’s red-hot shooting was too much to overcome, and, according to Karel, the team needs to get back to doing what they do best.“I think the whole game, to be honest, we weren’t at our best defensively,” Karel said. “Obviously in the first half we were doing better, and I don’t know what happened. Something just switched where all of a sudden they started going off, started hitting threes and it just kind of led us into a downward spiral — I mean this is the most points we’ve gave up in a long time.“So I guess we just got to go back to our principles and make sure it doesn’t happen the next game because we can’t afford that.”last_img

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