The University of Wisconsin women’s basketball team (1-0) will look to begin Big Ten conference play on a high note when they take on the Iowa Hawkeyes (2-0) Saturday, Dec. 5 at 2 p.m.
The Badgers are coming off a 73-66 home opener victory against the Western Illinois Leathernecks where sophomore Sydney Hilliard scored a career-high 24 points. Sophomore Sara Stapleton also achieved her first double-double with 11 points and 11 rebounds.
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Wisconsin took an early lead on Western Illinois and created an 11-point gap at half. The Badgers would stay well ahead for 26 minutes until the Leatherjacks began to close this gap to just three points towards the end of the third quarter. The Badgers answered back, and the fourth quarter was ultimately led by junior Imani Lewis, Stanford graduate transfer Estella Moschkau and junior Alex Luehring, who collectively closed out Wisconsin’s victory.
The Hawkeyes will enter Saturday’s contest following a 96-81 win against Northern Iowa and a 103-97 win against Drake. Freshman Caitlin Clark scored a career-high 30 points against Drake, which could make for an interesting matchup against Wisconsin’s Hilliard. Behind Clark, junior Monika Czinano also scored a career-high 27 points.
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Last season, the Badgers weren’t able to pick up a win during either of their two matchups against Iowa, a team that had been consistently ranked within the AP Top 25 and one of the best in the Big Ten. In fact, Wisconsin is 1-20 all-time against the Hawkeyes, with the Hawkeyes winning 20 straight. Iowa is a young team this year, however, and they don’t have the same high expectations.
With Hilliard, sophomore Julie Pospíšilovà and Lewis leading an aggressive offense alongside fresh faces like Moschkau and freshman Brooke Schramek, the Badgers have a chance to defeat the Hawkeyes for the first time in nearly 20 years.
Saturday’s game can be streamed Big Ten Network+ or listened to on Madison’s radio station U 100.9.