Friday, Dec. 11, the Wisconsin women’s basketball team will take on the Rutgers Scarlet Knights (1-0, 0-0 Big Ten) at the Kohl Center. Rutgers enters this game confident after a huge Nov. 27 win over the Monmouth Hawks (0-3). 

The Badgers are coming off a close loss in their conference opener against the Iowa Hawkeyes (4-0,1-0), falling just short by a final score of 85-78. 

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On a positive note, sophomore Sydney Hilliard surpassed her 24-point career-high from earlier this season, scoring 26 points against the Hawkeyes.

Imani Lewis had an impressive game as well — recording her first double-double of the season with 17 points and 11 rebounds. Between Lewis and Hilliard, the Badgers contended against the Hawkeyes, a team that won 23 games a season ago. 

Wisconsin tied the game in the third quarter, putting the scoreboard at 41-41, but soon Iowa would pull away for good. The Badgers attempted a comeback but ultimately lost to the Hawkeyes for the 23rd consecutive time. 

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In their next matchup against Rutgers, Wisconsin must contain freshman guard Diamond Johnson. Johnson, a highly-touted recruit, scored 15 points in her debut against Monmouth, the most in a freshman in her debut since 2011. Wisconsin is on a five-game losing streak against Rutgers, and Johnson’s rangy defense could pose a threat to Wisconsin. 

Familiar faces such as Sara Stapleton, Lewis, Hilliard and Julie Pospíšilovà will continue to put defensive and offensive pressure on opponents. New faces like Brooke Schramek and Kate Thompson who have already seen significant playing time for the Badgers this season will continue to contribute to the team. 

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Despite Wisconsin’s inability to beat the Hawkeyes, Head Coach Jonathan Tsipis was still impressed by the way the women competed against a quality Big Ten opponent. The Badgers are looking to carry that momentum into tomorrow’s home game against Rutgers Scarlet Knights. 

Watch the game live on the Big Ten Network or tune into U 100.9 FM radio. You can also find live updates on social media accounts under the Wisconsin women’s basketball Twitter account.