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Anderson gets last laugh over WKU’s Kelly

first_imgOne grew up in Port Wing, Wis., and the other in Louisville, Ky. One was the Big Ten’s leading scorer; the other was the Sun Belt’s leading scorer. Both are juniors. Both played in the Kohl Center last night. Neither disappointed.Although Wisconsin’s Jolene Anderson plays guard and Western Kentucky’s Crystal Kelly plays forward, these two squared off in Wednesday night’s WNIT semifinal game. Anderson finished with 26 points, only to be outmatched by Kelly’s game-high 28. But it was Anderson’s Wisconsin squad that came away with the victory, 79-72.After defeating Kelly’s Western Kentucky, head coach Lisa Stone’s Wisconsin team has played the nation’s top two leading scorers, defeating both of them. Kelly sits second in the nation in scoring behind Western Michigan’s Carrie Moore.”I didn’t know that,” Stone said of playing against the nation’s leading scorers. “Both Crystal and Carrie are formidable foes.” “It’s amazing to go up against All-Americans,” Anderson added. “We can learn a lot from great players like that. Our team takes great pride in playing against great players.”Anderson started the game off hitting her first two shots but missed her next six. She didn’t hit a three-point field goal until 15:20 remaining in the second half. Nevertheless, she finished 8-of-21 from the field, 4-of-12 from beyond the arc, and a perfect 6-for-6 from the free-throw line.Western Kentucky head coach Mary Taylor Cowles had nothing but praise for Wisconsin’s No. 41.”[Anderson’s] phenomenal,” Cowles said. “She can score in a variety of ways. I know she played on the USA basketball team. It shows that she’s put in extra time. She may not be a vocal leader, but she leads by example.”Anderson was not the only one who led by example Wednesday night.Kelly scored at will around the basket all night, and if it weren’t for a few unkind bounces off the iron early in the game, she easily could have topped the 30-point plateau.”Crystal Kelly is the real deal,” Stone said.”[Kelly’s] one of the best post players we’ve faced in this entire year,” Stone added. “She’s very crafty on the blocks, she can step away, and she’s going to be a great pro player some day.”The Louisville native finished 10-of-22 from the field, was 8-of-10 from the line and added four assists and three steals for good measure. Kelly’s numbers were enough to be named to the WNIT’s all-tournament already, but unfortunately for her, the Hilltoppers’ season is over.Still, as Kelly and the rest West Kentucky’s nucleus of players returns next season, Cowles believes WKU — as well as UW — will improve greatly next season. “These three young ladies in particular (Kelly, Brianne Brown and Dominique Duck) are returning in our program along with four others,” Cowles said. “So I’m very, very excited about what I think this kind of momentum in this postseason can do for us in the future.”Anderson, on the other hand, is eight points shy of tying a WNIT record for most scored in a single tournament with 116.However, the points don’t mean as much as the outcome of the game to Anderson.”It won’t mean anything without a W,” Anderson said.last_img read more

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