With the season coming to an end, the University of Wisconsin women’s basketball team (11-15, 3-12 Big Ten), has now dropped 10 of their last 12 games after dropping games to No. 19 Iowa and Purdue. This week doesn’t get easier as the Badgers host two ranked opponents, starting with No. 7 Maryland (22-4, 13-2) Wednesday.
Women’s Basketball: No. 19 Iowa, Purdue sweep Badgers in weekend contests as regular season nears closeThe 2019-2020 season is coming to an end for the University of Wisconsin’s women’s basketball team (11-15, 3-12 Big Ten) Read…
Winners of 11 straight games, the Terrapins are playing their best basketball heading into March. Leading the Big Ten, Head Coach Brenda Frese’s team is a legitimate Final Four contender. The Terrapins are looking to make their first Final Four appearance since the 2014-15 season.
Maryland native Kaila Charles is the heart and soul of the Terps squad. The senior guard has added yet another solid season to her illustrious college career. The two-time first-team All-Big Ten selection is averaging 15.0 points, 7.8 rebounds and 2.2 assists per game. It will take a team effort for Wisconsin to slow down such a tremendous player.
After Wednesday’s test, the schedule does not ease up as Wisconsin shifts their attention to another home game against a ranked opponent, No. 18 Northwestern (22-3 12-2).
After reaching the 2018-19 WNIT semifinals, Northwestern has taken yet another step forward in the 2019-20 season. Like Charles, the Wildcats have one of the best players in the Big Ten in junior guard Lindsey Pulliam.
The guard from Silver Spring, Maryland has been remarkably consistent, averaging over 15 points per game in each of her three seasons. This year Pulliam ranks third in the conference scoring at 18.6 points per game clip.
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In order to slow down marquee players like Charles and Pulliam, Wisconsin will need a significant defensive contribution from freshman guard Sydney Hilliard.
Hilliard leads Wisconsin in steals per game with 25 steals in 24 games (1.04 per game). Likely to draw the assignment of both Pulliam and Charles, Hilliard will look to be disruptive, using pressure defense to make these players feel uncomfortable. With Hilliard being so aggressive, the Badgers will need to be strong in help-side defense and sound in their rotations.
Since a postseason berth seems unlikely, Wisconsin will look to use these next games to gain momentum for the upcoming season. Though Maryland and Northwestern are challenges, these games should help Wisconsin grow and improve for the upcoming season.
Following this week, Wisconsin concludes the 2019-20 regular season with a Feb. 27 road game against Rutgers.