Anderson wins Big Ten’s POY

Anderson wins Big Ten’s POY

first_imgBEN CLASSON/Herald photoAfter a tough loss to the eventual co-conference championIowa, Wisconsin can now look ahead to the Big Ten tournament and possible NCAAhopes.Sunday was senior day at the Kohl Center, marking the lasthome game for the seniors, including top scorer and Big Ten Player of the YearJolene Anderson. Anderson has set numerous records throughout her career,including the all-time scoring leader for UW men?s or women?s basketball.?I think Jolene statistically is the best in the league. Imean, you look at her rebounds. You look at her overall stat sheet here, andevery category she surfaces,? head coach Lisa Stone said. ?She is the two-timescoring leader, back to back. I certainly think that she is, in my opinion, theplayer of the year.?With eight wins in the past 11 games, the team is thehottest it?s been all season. When all seemed lost in Michigan on Thursday, theBadgers strung together nine second-half three-point shots to pull off the20-point comeback win on the road. The team was in a similar hole against Iowaon Sunday.?Down by 20 two games in a row, certainly not something youwant to project going in, but I have to give Iowa credit,? Stone said. ?Theydidn?t let us take the lead, and unfortunately for us, we put ourselves in toobig a hole.?Contributing to the early deficit were shooting woes andrebounding margins. Wisconsin has only lost in the rebounding column four timesthis season, but it was out-rebounded by almost 20 against a taller Iowalineup.?The difference came down to rebounding. We got pounded onthe glass,? Stone said. ?It?s something that we need to make sure that we payattention to when we go into the Big Ten tournament.??Illinois up nextThe end to the regular season snapped a five-game Badger winstreak, but spirits are high and the team is optimistic about the postseason.Tip-off for the Big Ten tournament in Indianapolis, Ind.starts at 11 a.m. Thursday, with eighth-seeded Wisconsin taking on ninth-seededIllinois in the early evening later that day.? The team split the seasonseries, with each teaming winning on their own home court.?We see we?re going to play Illinois ? I do like ourmatchup,? Stone said. ?My staff is eager to practice today, but we?re going totake the day off and get ready for a great tournament run.?When the team lost to Illinois earlier in the year, it wasamid the 1-6 start to the season, which has since turned around to a series ofwin streaks. Most notably different, the freshmen have stepped up into theirroles and are now major factors in the team?s success. Against Iowa, it was thethree freshmen who led the team in scoring.?I like our bench strength and our depth, the maturity ofour freshmen going into this game,? Stone said. ?It?s a good first game for us,and I?ve got a very focused team.??NCAA hopes not gone yetWith a .500 record in the conference, the Badgers are farfrom an automatic bid into the NCAA tournament. Of course, if the team were towin the tournament, they would earn a bid outright.?If we?re successful on Thursday against Illinois and weplay Ohio State, a ranked team, it?d be a significant win for us,? Stone said.?If we can beat Ohio State, advance to the semis and continue to get to thechampionship game, I think a lot of things will come into play.?A lot can be accomplished yet by this Wisconsin team,playing their best basketball to start the postseason. The team has notchedwins over the top seeds in the tournament and kept games against the top twoseeds Ohio State and Iowa close until the very end.?Look at our team right now. We?ve shown some resiliency,some toughness,? Stone said. ?You know, we?re out there, we?re swinging. We?redoing everything we can. And I like that. They?re hungry.?last_img

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