After falling on the road last Thursday to Colorado, the University of Wisconsin-Madison women’s basketball team (3-1) rebounded with a convincing 71–40 home win against UW-Milwaukee.
Sophomore Imani Lewis found her groove in the win, scoring a season-high 19 points and going 7-for-14 from the field. Lewis now leads the Badgers in scoring, averaging 14.3 points per game.
Wisconsin will need Lewis’s scoring and other key contributors as they begin a loaded week, which includes a trip to the Bahamas for the 2019 Bahamas Hoopfest Classic.
Before traveling outside of the country, Wisconsin takes on Eastern Illinois (3-2) in a tune-up game at the Kohl Center Tuesday night.
The Panthers are coming off two convincing wins over the University of Illinois-Chicago and the University of Evansville, outscoring their opponents 170–99 in the two games. While Eastern Illinois is not a powerhouse program, it would be a mistake for Wisconsin to overlook the upset-minded Panthers.
Eastern Illinois relies on the offense of 5-foot-8-inch junior floor general, Karle Pace. After leading the team in scoring as a sophomore, Pace has picked up right where she left off — scoring at a clip of 16 points per game through Eastern Illinois’ first five games. Pace has been unstoppable over her past three games, averaging 18.6 points per game on 40% shooting from beyond the arc.
Following the matchup against Eastern Illinois, Wisconsin will travel to the Bahamas over Thanksgiving to compete in the 2019 Bahamas Hoopfest Classic.
Besides enjoying a break from Madison’s chilly weather, Wisconsin will play in two games over the weekend — facing off against Ball State Friday before a matchup against No. 20 Arkansas.
The Razorbacks (5-1) will be another tough early-season test for Wisconsin. In 2018-19, Arkansas was runner-up to SEC powerhouse Mississippi State, who made a run all the way to the Elite Eight.
Without a doubt, the focal point of the Razorback attack is redshirt junior guard Chelsea Dungee. After one season at Oklahoma, Dungee transferred to Arkansas and made an immediate impact. Last season, Dungee was a prolific scorer, averaging 20.5 points per game, garnering All-SEC Second Team honors.
This week will certainly be a test for Head Coach Jonathan Tsipis’ team. If Wisconsin wants to leap from mediocre to a tournament team, they need to start making a statement in pivotal non-conference matchups before conference play begins in December.