After dropping four consecutive matches to non-conference opponents, Marisa Moseley’s Wisconsin Badgers (1-4) face the Boise State Broncos (1-2) on Nov. 27 and the University of Colorado-Boulder Buffaloes (5-0) on Nov. 28 in Boulder, Colorado, for the Rocky Mountain Hoops Classic. 

Following a disappointing 12-point defeat versus the UW-Milwaukee Panthers on Nov. 24, Wisconsin looks to secure its first win since Nov. 10.

The Badgers square off first against the Broncos, who account for an average 53.7 points per contest and 17.3 giveaways per bout. Gordy Presnell, the 34th winningest NCAA basketball head coach of all time with 705 career victories, captains the blue and orange for the 17th straight season. 

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As members of the Mountain West Conference, the Broncos boasted a 14-9 record a season ago, notching 69.3 tallies, 42.9 boards and 14.5 assists each time out on the hardwood. 

With the departures of Jade Loville, a 5’10’’ guard who led Boise State with 17.1 points per game off 42.9% from the floor, and Mallory McGwire, a 6’5’’ center who registered a team-leading 181 boards, 33 blocks and 38% from behind-the-arc, the Bronco offense has yet to hit its groove. 

If the Badgers put together a stout defensive effort and maintain discipline with personal fouls, the red and white could certainly steal a win on Saturday. 

Boise State names to monitor:

Sophomore Elodie Lalotte, who chalked up 13 minutes per match off the bench during the 2020-2021 campaign, averages 10 points and an efficient 48.1% from the field in only 22 minutes per outing this season.

Sophomore Mary Kay Naro manages 9.7 tallies over 33.3 minutes of action per contest. As Presnell’s most talented shooting threat, the 5’11’’ guard has snatched seven steals and dished out 10 dimes throughout the season to go along with her 18 total rebounds. 

If Moseley’s group focuses on both Lalotte and Naro, Boise State’s bench unit, which musters a combined 29.3% from the floor, would need to step up and help fill the void. 

Nov. 28 meeting with Boulder:

In her sixth year as head coach of the Buffaloes, JR Payne holds a 72-75 (.491) record at CU, and she ironically helped clinch an NCAA tournament appearance as an assistant coach with Boise State in 2007.

During the 2020-2021 season, the Buffaloes went 12-11 on the year, notching 64.7 points, 36.6 rebounds and 18 tallies off turnovers through 23 games. 

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This year, the black and gold are yet to drop a game. In returning its two leading scorers, Mya Hollingshed and Frida Formann, Colorado’s scoring margin has increased by nearly four points. The Buffaloes beat opponents by nearly 20 a game off 68.4 scores per match.

If Moseley elects to run a 2-3 zone against Payne’s group, the Badgers will need to monitor both the perimeter and painted area given that the black and gold execute on 5.6 threes each time out.

Buffalo names to monitor:

Through 149 total minutes of action, fifth-year student-athlete Mya Hollingshed shoots 48.3% from the field and 38.9% from deep. Responsible for 73 points, the 6’3’’ forward also gets it done on the defensive end, totaling 34 rebounds, 10 swats and nine steals through five games.

In 24.2 minutes each time out, junior Jaylyn Sherrod manages a 48.4% clip from the floor off 31 shot attempts. The 5’7’’ guard leads the Buffaloes with a team-high 19 assists and 12 steals as well.

Badger statistics thus far:

Through five battles, UW’s offense ranks 264th in three-point efficiency (26.2%) and 255th in personal fouls committed per game (18.8) out of 348 eligible NCAA women’s basketball programs. The Badgers achieve 60.6 points off 38.8% from the field and commit a respectable 12.4 turnovers each time out. 

Junior guard Sydney Hilliard leads the red and white with 17.4 tallies, 5.8 boards and a pair of swipes per match off an impressive 54.7% from the field.

Through three games, Julie Pospíšilová averages 17 points and snags 3.3 rebounds per game off 36.7 minutes per bout, and point guard Katie Nelson logs 39.8 minutes per outing with a team-high 22 assists and only five turnovers. Nelson ranks 18th in the entire NCAA in assist-to-turnover ratio (4.4).