Badger women return to UW Fieldhouse, beat Eastern Illinois - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Badger women return to UW Fieldhouse, beat Eastern Illinois

MADISON, Wis. -- It was a homecoming of sorts for the Wisconsin women's basketball team Saturday afternoon. The Badgers (7-3) returned to the UW Field House for their first regular season game since 1998 and easily defeated Eastern Illinois, 76-47, in front of a season-high 3,893 fans.
For sophomore Jacki Gulczynski it was an electrifying environment. "It was just pure excitement, to come in here and play in front of all of our alumnae and our fans in the Field House."
Gulczynski funneled that excitement into a career-high 24 points, including 18 in the first half. The 6-1 forward posted her second-consecutive double-double, pulling down a career-high 13 rebounds.
Led by Gulczynski's hot hand, the Badgers opened the game shooting 51.6 percent (16-of-31) in the first half.
Gulczynski's performance was one that head coach Bobbie Kelsey thought highly about. "Her stat line is incredible. She had no turnovers, two blocks, three assists, 24 points, 13 rebounds (including) four offensive.
"(She was) perfect from the free throw line, 50 percent from the field. I mean, you can't ask for more."
It was a hot start that Gulczynski credits to her teammates.
"No credit to myself, it's all on my teammates facilitating the ball and Tiera (Stephen) was giving everyone good chances to score."
Stephen dished off six assists in the game while adding nine points and nine rebounds. In addition to Gulczynski, Morgan Paige chipped in 16 points for Wisconsin, her 10th game this season with 10-or-more points, while Nicole Bauman contributed 15 points.
Eastern Illinois (5-4) failed to have a player reach double figures though 10 Panthers scored in the game. Ta'Kenya Nixon and Sydney Mitchell led EIU with eight points apiece.
The Badgers took a 38-21 lead into the locker room, the 10th-consecutive game this season UW has led at the half.
The second half was a continuation of the first, as Morgan Paige and Nicole Bauman got into the scoring action. Paige posted 14 of her 16 points in the second 20 minutes of play, while Bauman netted nine.
Bauman solidified the Badgers' win with a 3-pointer at the 1:37 mark to end the game 76-47.
Wisconsin outrebounded the Panthers 46-28 and also turned the ball over just 12 times, tying a season low.
The victory marked Wisconsin's fourth-consecutive win in its fourth-consecutive home game.
It is a streak that will be tested when the Badgers travel to Green Bay on Dec. 23 for their first road game since Nov. 28. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m.
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