ANN ARBOR, Mich. (PRESS RELEASE) – Sophomore Anya Covington scored a career-high 19 points as the University of Wisconsin women's basketball team defeated the University of Michigan 73-61 on the road at Michigan's Crisler Arena on Sunday afternoon.
Three Badgers scored in double figures, led by Covington, who was one board shy of a double-double. Covington finished with nine rebounds and two steals in addition to her 19 points.
Alyssa Karel had a complete game with 14 points, two steals, two blocks, one assist and one rebound while Tara Steinbauer put up 12 points and added five rebounds and one assist. Steinbauer went a career-best 10-of-12 from the free throw line.
Wisconsin (19-8, 9-7 Big Ten) entered today's game tied for fourth in the Big Ten Conference standings while Michigan (14-12, 6-10 Big Ten) was tied for seventh. The Big Ten standings will be updated following the conclusion of the remaining conference match-ups later today.
Tight play over the opening 15 minutes of the game prevented either team from securing more than a five-point lead. The Badgers held a two-point advantage at 22-20 when a jumper by Karel sparked a 9-0 UW run with 4:37 remaining. Two points from Steinbauer capped the run, giving Wisconsin a 33-20 lead with 1:17 to play in the half.
The Wolverines added three points on a free throw from Courtney Bolan and a jumper from Nya Jordan in the final 21 seconds of the half to trim the UW lead to 10 at 33-23 heading into halftime.
The Badgers maintained a 12-point lead at 50-38 with 10:05 remaining in the game before the Wolverines began chipping away at UW's lead. Michigan used a 4-0 run to trim the deficit to eight at 50-42 with 9:20 on the clock.
Steinbauer hit a free throw to put UW back up by nine before Carmen Reynolds drained a 3-pointer to bring Michigan within six at 51-45 with 8:47 remaining. The teams then exchanged jumpers to make it 53-47 UW.
Michigan sent Covington to the free throw line with 6:11 to go, and she made both, extending Wisconsin's lead back to eight at 55-47. The Wolverines responded with a Kalyn McPherson jumper on the other end.
Wisconsin missed two 3-pointers before a pair of free throws by Krista Phillips brought the Wolverines within four at 54-51 with 4:17 remaining, but the Badgers answered with a 7-0 run to take an 11-point 62-51 lead with 1:24 to go.
With Michigan forced to foul, the Badgers capitalized on free throws and made 11-of-12 from the line in the final 1:10 to seal the victory.
Reynolds led Michigan with 12 points, and Phillips added 10 points and nine rebounds for the Wolverines. Dayeesha Hollins also chipped in 10 points with three steals and two rebounds.
Michigan out-rebounded Wisconsin 33-30 as Phillips and Covington led all players with nine boards apiece. The Wolverines' Jenny Ryan also pulled down six rebounds.
Wisconsin was 24-of-52 from the field (46.2 percent) while Michigan shot 17-of-46 (37.0 percent).
The teams attempted a combined 56 free throws. The Wolverines held the advantage from the free throw line at 22-of-31 (71.0 percent) compared to the Badgers' 20-of-25 (80.0 percent).
Wisconsin's 19 overall wins this season equals the team's win total from last season when the squad finished 19-15 overall and 6-12 in the Big Ten.
Nine Big Ten victories this season tie the Badgers' best conference record under Coach Lisa Stone. The team went 9-9 in Big Ten play in 2007-08. Wisconsin is now guaranteed to finish at .500 or better in Big Ten play for the first time since 2007-08.
Wisconsin travels to Penn State on Thursday before concluding the regular season at home against Iowa on Sunday, Feb. 28. Tipoff against the Nittany Lions is set for 6 p.m.