Ellis' 31 Points Propels Marquette Past No. 25 Wisconsin, 67-53
Nov. 17, 2007
MILWAUKEE - Led by a season-high 31 points from junior Krystal Ellis, the Marquette women's basketball team defeated No. 25 Wisconsin, 67-53, in front of a school record crowd of 4,327 Saturday afternoon at the Bradley Center.
"It's very early in the season but obviously to play an experienced team like Wisconsin and come out with victory, I think is a good sign about where this team is going with the challenges we have ahead of us," said head coach Terri Mitchell. "With a young team, I didn't know if they understood when you play a ranked, experienced team what it takes. I think our upperclassmen did a great job of teaching them what it takes to focus, especially playing in an arena that's not our own. We were fortunate to end with a victory."
For the game, the Golden Eagles shot 32.8 percent connecting on 21-of-64 attempts from the field. Ellis led all scorers with 31 points on 50 percent shooting (10-of-20), and added four assists and four steals while not committing a turnover. Twenty-five of Marquette's points came off turnovers as the Golden Eagles forced 29 Wisconsin miscues and grabbed 18 steals.
"Krystal Ellis did an incredible job of leading. She was ready. Krystal understands that, of everyone on the team, she has the most game experience. Not that we need her to score 31 points, but we'll sure take it when she does," said Mitchell.
Wisconsin's Jolene Anderson led the Badgers with 21 points and 10 rebounds. Janese Banks registered 15 points for UW, while the Badgers collectively shot 38.2 percent for the game (21-of-55).
Marquette's "bigs" came up big again today on the glass. Senior Svetlana Kovalenko pulled down a season-high 11 boards, freshman Paige Fiedorowicz contributed seven rebounds to go along with her seven points, and junior Marissa Thrower added five rebounds.
The Golden Eagles went into the break ahead by 10 points, 37-27, led by Ellis who scored 21 of MU's points in the first half. Collectively, Marquette shot 48.3 percent in the first connecting on 14-of-29 attempts from the floor.
The first half featured five lead changes and a tie score four times. With the scored tied at 16 points apiece, a jumper by junior Kelly Lam sparked a 6-1 mini run to help MU go ahead 22-17 with 6:52 left in the first.
Wisconsin came within one, but three consecutive 3-pointers - two from Ellis and one from sophomore Janelle Harris - gave Marquette a 10-point lead, 31-21, with 3:15 remaining in the first. Ellis and freshman Tatiyiana McMorris combined for the Golden Eagles' final six points of the half as MU led 37-27.
The Badgers pushed in the second half but were only able to come within seven points, while Marquette maintained a double-digit lead for a majority of the second frame.
Following a 6-0 run to come within seven (55-48), Wisconsin crept late in the game with 2:29 remaining. Ellis grabbed a key steal in transition and dished it off to Thrower who made her shot and got the foul. Thrower nailed her free throw to finish the three-point play and help Marquette lead by 10, 58-48, with 1:18 left in the game.
For the rest of the game, Wisconsin was forced to foul and Ellis and Thrower made 10 of 11 from the charity stripe in the final minute to seal the win for the Golden Eagles.
Marquette will hit the road for its next two games. The Golden Eagles will head west to play at Oregon on Tuesday, Nov. 20, at 9 p.m. ET, and at Gonzaga on Friday, Nov. 23, at 9 p.m. ET.
"We just want to go play another game and get better. We are on the west coast for six days. That's going to be tough road swing for us. It's my job to get our team ready and to take it one game at a time. We have 13 games to get ready for the BIG EAST. I felt like we've prepared ourselves with an excellent schedule, and we are going to be matured and seasoned. Our freshmen will no longer be freshmen," said Mitchell.
* No. 25 Wisconsin was the first ranked opponent Marquette faced this season.
* Today's attendance was a school record, 4,327. It breaks Marquette's previous record of 4,000 set on February 3, 2007 against Connecticut.
* Ellis finished with a season high 31 points and just two points shy of matching her career record of 33 points scored during the 2006-07 season. Twenty-one of her points were scored in the first half. She also registered four assists and four steals without committing a turnover in 34 minutes of play.
* Ellis made a career-high 10 field goals, and took a career-best 20 shots.
* Svetlana Kovalenko finished with a season0-high 11 rebounds, one shy of her career record of 12. She is the first player this season to register double-figure rebounds. She also grabbed a career high five steals.
* Marquette's largest lead of the game was 14-points with 25 seconds remaining in the game.
* Marquette forced 29 Wisconsin turnovers and scored 25 points of the Badgers' miscues.
* The Golden Eagles committed a season low 13 turnovers, including just one in the second half.