After splitting games against Boise State and Colorado in the Rocky Mountain Hoops Classic last weekend, Marisa Moseley’s Wisconsin Badgers (2-5) return to the Kohl Center for a Wednesday night bout against the Virginia Tech Hokies (6-1).

The two last met on Nov. 28, 2012, with Madison’s team falling short in a 47-38 defensive battle. Wisconsin holds a 1-1 record all-time when they face the Hokies.

Led by Head Coach Kenny Brooks, recipient of the Virginia Sports Information Directors Coach of the Year honor last season, Virginia Tech went 15-10 during the 2020-2021 campaign and secured its first bid to the national tournament in 15 years. Not to mention, for the first time in program history, the Hokies yielded two First Team All-ACC student-athletes and a victory against a top-four ranked opponent last year.

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Through seven games thus far, the Hokies boast the 58 ranked scoring offense (74.7 points per outing) and the 14 highest scoring margin (+25.7 differential) in the entire NCAA. The Maroon and Orange shoot an impressive 47.2% clip from the field and 40.3% from behind-the-arc, both top-25 marks in the nation.

As members of an ultra-competitive ACC conference, Virginia Tech can defend as well. The Hokies pull down 41.7 boards, chalk up 16.1 tallies off giveaways and deny 4.1 attempts per match.

Across the court, UW puts up 59.1 points per game off 39.5% from the field and the 264th-ranked three-point percentage (26.6%) out of 348 qualified programs. The Badgers gobble up 32.6 boards, commit 13.1 turnovers and distribute 12.6 assists per game as well.

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Junior guard Sydney Hilliard leads the Badgers in virtually every statistical category. Without a single three-point attempt, the 5-foot-11-inch guard manages 15.7 tallies, 5.1 rebounds and 1.9 steals off 56.8% each time out. As the second scoring option, Julie Pospíšilová scores 15.2 points and records 4.4 assists over 36.2 minutes per game. Guard Katie Nelson is responsible for a team-leading 29 dimes through 265 total minutes.

Virginia tech names to monitor:

Junior Elizabeth Kitley, a 2021 First Team All-ACC member and finalist for the Lisa Leslie Award, averages an elite 20.6 points, 10.3 rebounds and 3.6 blocks over 30.9 minutes of action per contest. The 6-foot-6-inch center ranks 15 out of 250 qualified student-athletes in field goal percentage with 63.6% efficiency from the floor. If the North Carolina native continues this remarkable pace, she might receive a second-consecutive First Team All-ACC nod.

Sara Stapleton, Alex Luehring and Brooke Schramek will need to pay extra attention down low whenever Kitley checks in. 

Accountable for the eighth-most three-pointers made (23) and the 49-best three-point field goal percentage (46%) in the nation, graduate student Aisha Sheppard racks up 13.6 tallies and 3.4 dishes in 30.6 minutes each time out for the Hokies. Alongside Kitley and Sheppard, sophomore Georgia Amoore leads the Hokies with 40 total assists and nine swipes through seven games.

If the Badgers wish to compete against one of the most talented rosters in the NCAA, the Red and White will need to play with discipline on the defensive end, execute on open looks from the perimeter and avoid careless turnovers.