INDIANAPOLIS (PRESS RELEASE) – Wisconsin scored on its first possession of the game and never looked back as the fourth-seeded Badgers defeated fifth-seeded Purdue 73-51 in the quarterfinal round of the Big Ten Tournament before 7,153 fans at Conseco Fieldhouse on Friday night.
For the second year in a row, Wisconsin (21-9, 10-8 Big Ten) advances to Saturday's Big Ten Tournament semifinals. The Badgers will face top-seeded Ohio State at 6:30 p.m. CT. The Buckeyes defeated ninth-seeded Illinois 66-55 in Friday's third quarterfinal game.
Junior Alyssa Karel became the 20th Badger to score 1,000 career points when she hit a three with 12:34 to play, giving UW a 53-36 lead. Karel led Wisconsin with 14 points on the evening, bringing her career total to 1,005 points.
Senior Rae Lin D'Alie posted 13 points, four rebounds, four assists and four of the Badgers' 10 steals.
Junior Tara Steinbauer finished with 10 points, seven boards and three assists. Lin Zastrow also had 10 points and eight rebounds for the Badgers.
UW outscored Purdue 34-20 in the paint.
Purdue (14-15, 9-9 Big Ten) was led by Fahkara Malone's 11 points and Ashley Wilson's seven rebounds.
The Badgers shot 30-of-59 (50.8 percent) from the field to Purdue's 17-of-50 (34.0 percent). UW out-rebounded the Boilermakers 35-32 and had just 14 turnovers compared to 19 by Purdue.
Wisconsin wasted no time getting on the scoreboard as Zastrow won the opening tip and D'Alie drained a three just 14 seconds into the game. The Badgers jumped out to a 15-2 lead over the opening 7:31 before Purdue trimmed the lead to eight at 28-20 with 7:20 remaining in the half. The Boilermakers then failed to score from 7:20 to 1:51 while Wisconsin rattled off eight straight points to lead 36-23.
Jade Davis hit a three with 30 seconds remaining in the first stanza to give Wisconsin its largest lead of the half at 41-23 and the Badgers took a 41-25 lead into the locker room.
Steinbauer led all players with 10 points, six rebounds and three assists in the first half, and Wisconsin went 18-of-34 (52.9 percent) from the field in the opening half compared to Purdue's 9-of-27 (33.3 percent). The Badgers out-rebounded the Boilermakers 19 to 11 in the opening 20 minutes.
The second half was all Wisconsin. D'Alie hit a three with 16:45 on the clock to give UW a 21-point lead at 48-27. Purdue used a 7-0 run to come within 14 at 48-34 with 13:56 to play, but Wisconsin quickly extended its lead back to 21 at 63-42 with 8:43 on the clock.
The Badgers' largest lead of the game was 24 at 73-49 with just 1:14 remaining in the game.
The Boilermakers were 0-for-7 from 3-point range in the second half for a game-total of 4-of 17 (23.5 percent) while Wisconsin was 8-of-17 (47.1 percent) from beyond the arc.
Thirteen Badgers saw action in tonight's game for the first time since Wisconsin's 62-46 win over Robert Morris on Dec. 15, 2009. UW's bench totaled 18 points, but Purdue's reserves put up 23 points.
Saturday's first semifinal will feature second-seeded Michigan State and third-seeded Iowa. The Spartans and Hawkeyes will tip off at 4 p.m. CT. Michigan State defeated Michigan 61-50 in the first quarterfinal while Iowa advanced with an 82-75 win over Penn State.
The Big Ten Championship game is slated for 3:30 p.m. CT on Sunday and it will air live on ESPN2.