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ISU women see rally fall short against Wisconsin

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MADISON, Wis. — Katy Winge poured in a career-high 25 points but a 30-point deficit was too much to overcome for the Illinois State women's basketball team in a 71-60 nonconference loss to Wisconsin on Sunday at the Kohl Center.

Winge, who had 20 in the second half, sank four 3-pointers, was 5-for-5 from the free throw line and also chipped in three rebounds and an assist.

“I was really happy with our team’s fight,” Redbirds coach Barb Smith said. “I wasn’t happy we were down by 30 at one point, but obviously the fight back showed a lot of character. We kept our composure, got back together and started playing again."

Zenobia Bess and Stekara Hall both netted nine points, while Octavia Crump added eight for the Redbirds (0-2). ISU scored just 21 first-half points, but regrouped at the break and scored 39 in the second.

Illinois State connected on 35 percent of its field goal attempts while Wisconsin shot 41 percent. Crump led ISU on the boards, pulling down 10, although Wisconsin owned a 43-41 advantage on the glass.

The Badgers used a 12-3 run to open a 21-11 lead at the 9:45 mark and then upped the margin to 34-21 at the half, as the Redbirds failed to score over the final two minutes of the period.

Wisconsin came out strong in the second half, opening with a 20-3 run to take a 54-24 lead eight minutes into the second half. The 30-point margin was the Badgers’ largest lead in the game.

Winge brought life back to the Redbirds by scoring 13 straight points to pull ISU to within 60-37 with eight minutes remaining.

She added seven straight points with 3:45 left to play. The Redbirds pulled within 11 points but got no closer.

Illinois State opens its home schedule Thursday with a visit from nonconference foe Northern Kentucky. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.

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