The Wisconsin women’s basketball team (3-1) was on the road for the first time this season on Thursday, tasked with containing a potent, undefeated Colorado team that matches size with shooting capability. The Badgers were outscored by 21 points in the first half and never recovered, falling 87–54 at the buzzer.
The Badgers (3-1) were able to capitalize on their relative size and talent when faced with close games at home, taking advantage of North Florida and Wofford in decisive second half runs. Thursday proved to be a different story, and Wisconsin was on the back foot from the tip. After multiple runs by the Buffaloes, the Badgers managed only 13 points in the first quarter and were quickly down double digits.
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While the Badgers were resilient in the Kohl Center, they failed to respond to the early deficit Thursday, and the game slipped away before the intermission. Wisconsin fell even further behind after being outscored by double digits yet again in the second quarter. A season-low shooting rate of 15.4% from beyond the arc kept the Badgers out of their rhythm and prevented them from making any kind of game saving swing.
Three Buffaloes scored in double-figures, led by senior Quinessa Caylao-Do with 16 points on the night. Freshman Jaylyn Sherrod added 13 points and three assists, while sophomore Emma Clarke totaled 11 points and three rebounds. The Badgers were led by Abby Laszewski and Imani Lewis, who both tallied 19 points with eight and seven rebounds, respectively.
The second half was relatively uneventful, a moot point after the dominance of the Buffaloes in the early stages. Wisconsin strung together small runs occasionally, but never got within 14 points of the lead. Despite forcing 18 turnovers and shooting decently from the free throw line — above 75% for the game — Wisconsin coughed up 15 turnovers of their own and were thoroughly outrebounded.
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Coming off of a tough road defeat, Wisconsin was impressive in a turnaround home matchup with intrastate rival Milwaukee. The Panthers (1-3) — although in no way comparable to the Buffaloes in terms of team strength and talent — have historically given the Badgers a run for their money. Wisconsin erupted from the jump and conceded only four first quarter points, holding Milwaukee to a miserable 8.7% from the three point line and under 30% from the field for the game.
Head Coach Jonathan Tsipis was impressed with the emphasis placed on rebounding in critical situations and maximizing possession efficiency per UW Athletics.
“We never let them get a chance to really get started and did a lot better on the glass tonight, which helped us,” Tsipis said.
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The Badgers cruised to a 31 point, 71–40 win at the Kohl Center and now sit at 3-1. The non-conference schedule has been relatively favorable to Wisconsin, as they prepare to take on Eastern Illinois after a nine day break. This contest will likely be a tune up for their trip to the Bahamas, where the fundamentals tested against inferior opponents will be integral to success versus the No. 20 Arkansas Razorbacks.
The Badgers have a while to rest before taking on the Eastern Illinois Panthers on Tuesday, Nov. 26 at 7 p.m.