The University of Wisconsin women’s basketball team secured its second victory of the season Sunday, defeating the Wofford Terriers by 13 points, the same margin of victory as the opener. Wofford (0-2), which competes in the Southern Conference, came into the game off of a heartbreaking loss to Auburn and played with an edge in the Kohl Center.
Wisconsin (2-0) rode its defensive ability against the Ospreys of North Florida, but the size of the Terriers meant that the opening quarters featured scoring runs for both teams.
The Badgers opened relatively strong and held a two-point lead after one, but the advantage was quickly removed by the aggressive play of Terriers guard Elena Pulanco, who sank a three and added free throws to hand the Badgers a halftime deficit, the score sitting at 39–36.
The halftime message from Badger Head Coach Jonathan Tsipis, per uwbadgers.com, was simple. He emphasized the importance of halftime — it’s a time to reset the game plan and start from scratch. Preaching about the fundamentals and the reality of the game situation certainly helped, as Wisconsin would immediately respond in the third quarter.
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Contributing to the game-sealing 32–7 run put up by the Badgers, which would continue into the fourth quarter, was senior Suzanne Gilreath. Gilreath tallied a game-high 21 points and hit five 3-pointers to propel the Badger attack as she passed Dolly Rademaker for seventh place on the all-time threes made list with 175.
After virtually sealing the game in the third period, the Badgers began to slip back into some of the bad habits seen in the opening half.
Both teams accumulated 15 turnovers, and there was little flow to the action for most of the contest. Sloppy game management and a failure to convert at the free-throw line — both teams shot under 60% for the game — could spell trouble as the competition picks up in conference action.
The Badgers shot the ball well from beyond the arc on Sunday, but stiffer defenses will likely be problematic if Wisconsin continues to forfeit possessions with turnovers. The trip to Colorado to take on the Buffaloes will be beneficial for the Badgers, as the offensive presence of Wisconsin will be tested on a different level.
The Badgers will take on the Buffaloes in Boulder, Colorado at 8 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 14.