The University of Wisconsin women’s basketball team has just one win over the past month.
That is the kind of cold streak pressuring head coach Bobbie Kelsey to spark something within the team as the postseason draws closer, an issue she addressed in her press conference Monday afternoon.
“We don’t have quite the margin for error that some other teams have,” Kelsey said. “We have to bring our absolute best game every time. To close out, you do want to finish strong. That’s always the goal.”
Coming off an 18-point loss to Northwestern Saturday, the Badgers would need to knock off Maryland, who is currently second place in the Big Ten Conference, to rejuvenate their overall disappointing regular season. Maryland — 14-2 in conference play this season — will host the Badgers Thursday night in College Park.
The Terrapins trumped the Badgers by a score of 90-65 when the two clubs met on Jan. 20. Wisconsin’s coach hopes her players can prepare themselves better this second time around to avoid another blowout loss.
“Sometimes when you’re familiar with teams, you can play them a little bit better,” Kelsey said. “We’re always trying to lift them, ‘Hey, you’ve done it before. We’ve seen it. Let’s score here and get it done again.'”
That is the hope going into the last two games of the regular season, as the team also plays their second match against Purdue Feb. 28.
The concluding pair of matches in the Badgers’ regular season schedule presents a recurring issue for the Badgers: winning on the road. Of the team’s seven wins this year, just a single victory came while on the road.
“We haven’t really done that well on the road,” Kelsey said. “This is an opportunity for our kids, especially the seniors that are going to be leaving, to show that we can do what we’ve done here at the Kohl on the road.”
The Badgers have lost by 10 or more points in each outing of their four-game losing streak, and of their 19 losses on the season, only three of those losses had a smaller margin.
Despite the odds the team faces in their weeknight matchup, Kelsey believes in her players, especially her departing seniors, and continues her mission to pull off the upset against Maryland.
“They’re tough. But that’s [why] you play the game,” Kelsey said. “You do the little things and play the tough teams. Anybody can get an upset.”