After a solid start to the season with an unblemished record, the University of Wisconsin-Madison women’s basketball team (2-0) faces a critical week. The Badgers start the week by traveling to Boulder to take on the University of Colorado (1-0) Thursday night.

After a 12-18 season, Colorado looks to take a step forward in 2019. The Buffaloes will have to operate without their two leading scorers from last year, losing the backcourt of senior guards Kennedy Leonard (12.6 ppg) and Alexis Robinson (12.2 ppg). Despite this, the team still brings back other consistent contributors from the past year.

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Senior guard Quinessa Caylao-Do returns to lead the Buffalo’s offensive attack. In 2018, Caylao-Do started 30 games, averaging 11.1 points per game. Caylao-Do was also lethal from beyond the arc, shooting 37 percent from deep.

Another key returner for Colorado is 6 foot 4 junior forward Mya Hollingshed. Hollingshed was a pivotal rim protector inside for Colorado, leading the team in blocks with 18 on the season. Hollingshed also contributed on the offensive end of the court, averaging 10.8 points and a team-best 6.6 rebounds per game. Look for both Caylao-Do and Hollingshed to be major factors Thursday night.

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After Thursday’s game, UW-Madison returns home for an in-state matchup against UW-Milwaukee at the Kohl Center on Sunday.

The Panthers (1-1) enter Sunday’s game battle-tested, already traveling to West Lafayette in a 68–55 loss to the Boilermakers. UW-Milwaukee will look to improve upon a 2018-2019 .500 record (15-15) and return to postseason play following their appearance in the 2018 WNIT.

The Panthers are filled with a lot of young talent, returning three of their top four scorers. Apple Valley, Minnesota native Megan Walstad was stellar in her freshman year at UW-Milwaukee. Walstad averaged a team-best 10.7 points per game and earned Horizon league all-freshman team honors. Not only did Walstad produce points, she was also extremely efficient, shooting 54.5% from the floor in the 2018-2019 season.

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The Badgers hope to ride the hot hand of senior guard Suzanne Gilreath. The Brooklyn Park, Minnesota native has been scorching as of late, shooting 48% from the floor with an average of 17 points per game.

In the Badgers’ 78–65 win against Wofford, Gilreath did a tremendous job of making defenders extend out to the perimeter with five buckets from outside the arc. Following this week, Wisconsin hosts Eastern Illinois before traveling to the Bahamas for the 2019 Bahamas Hoopfest Tournament.