The Wisconsin Badgers women's basketball team looked primed and ready to go for the regular season as they routed the UW-Platteville Pioneers 88-33 Sunday in their final exhibition game.
Big Ten 2004 Freshman of the Year Jolene Anderson led the way with 19 points on 8-of-13 shooting.
Anderson displayed her three-point shooting touch by connecting on 3-of-6 shots from behind the arc and also had a number of nice passes, finishing with three assists.
Fellow sophomore phenom Janese Banks once again took the scoring load off of Anderson, chipping in 17 points on 7-of-13 shooting.
While the dominating margin of victory is satisfying, head coach Lisa Stone believes that these exhibition games are more about the experience and making adjustments for the regular season than anything else.
"There's certainly benefits from early games," Stone said. "Again, it isn't about the score board, it is about the experience and for us to play against new bodies and different offenses … we wanted to try as hard as we could not to look at the scoreboard and worry more about us in staying focused and tenacious, if you will, for the whole game. I think we showed flashes of that, but I do think we let up a little bit in our intensity defensively."
Although the defense is still in need of preparations, the offense looked quite crisp as Wisconsin continues to play its way into the new swing offense that is being implemented this year.
"Offensively what I did like is the fact that we shared the ball tremendously well," Stone said. "We worked for good shots; we didn't, as we did last Sunday, try to take the first available run-and-gun a lot. We were a lot more patient, got the ball inside to some folks, and put some people in some positions to score at a higher percentage."
Despite the fact that all 12 players on the roster saw at least some playing time Sunday, Stone is aware that she must cut her rotation down to possibly nine players.
"Nothing is set in stone, shall we say," Stone said. "There's going to be people that are maybe in the regular lineup, but I think that it's great that it doesn't matter to our players who starts. It's a team effort and a team accomplishment."
"In that lineup, I have not settled into anything yet," she added. "I'm not sure I'll settle in at any time, but obviously you want some continuity, there's no question. … There's certain groups that work better together and we're still trying to find those things out."
Aside from the starting five of Anderson, Banks, Ashley Josephson, Kjersten Bakke and Annie Nelson, senior Jordan Wilson and sophomore Danielle Ward will be two main reserve contributors as they showed their ability to provide a spark of energy off the bench.
Wilson was able to score almost at will in the post, finishing with 11 points and seven boards, and Ward continues to show impressive speed for her 6'4" frame, as she scored 10 points, most of which were off of fast-break points.
"(Ward) has slowed herself down as far as her wheels spinning and trying to figure out where to go as a freshman to having a better understanding," Stone said. "She's stronger with the ball and one area I don't want her to slow down is her ability to run the floor. She can get up the floor and catch. She's long and lanky and just flies by people. That's a really nice threat for us to have."