Badgers remain undefeated

first_imgFor the second time in as many years, the UW women’s basketball team is off to a 3-0 start after defeating Central Connecticut State University 75-45 Friday night.The Badgers (3-0, 0-0 Big Ten) saw five of their players score in double figures, as well as two others scoring 9 points.”We had almost seven players in double figures,” UW head coach Lisa Stone said. “That would be pretty nice if we had that every game. I’m pleased with the fact that we shared the ball and found good shots.”Wisconsin, which never trailed in the game, took the lead just five seconds into the game and never looked back. Off the opening tip, point guard Rae Lin D’Alie found a wide-open Danielle Ward under the basket for an easy layup.”I think the biggest thing we talk about is we have to have a strong start,” guard Janese Banks said. “At halftime, we went in saying we need to keep this up. We don’t want to have any letdowns. I think that’s been one of our strong points, is how we start the game.”Leading the way for the Badgers was sophomore Caitlin Gibson with 12 points. Junior guard Jolene Anderson kept her double-digit scoring streak alive at 32 consecutive games by adding 11 points. Anderson and Mariah Dunham each had eight rebounds.Coach Stone also saw strong contributions from her new players. Freshmen Teah Gant and Dunham both notched career-high point totals, scoring 10 apiece. Ivana Mijalcevic added 9 points, including her first three-pointer as a Badger.Wisconsin shot 50 percent from the field while holding Central Connecticut State (0-2, 0-0 NEC) to just 35 percent.”We did not execute our offense, and that hurt us,” CCSU head coach Yvette Harris said. “We did not get the leadership at the point guard that I was looking for, and consequently, we did not run our plays.”Gabriella Guegbelet, CCSU’s team captain, was held in check by the stifling Badger defense. Guegbelet made just three of 11 shots on the game for 6 points.”I think that Gabby was rushing her shot,” Harris said. “She just felt a lot of pressure. She was in a hurry to try and make something happen. That hurt us because we look for her to lead us in our scoring, settle us down, and that didn’t happen for her tonight.”Leading the scoring for CCSU was senior guard Brittney Dixon. Dixon scored 12 points, including two three-pointers, and was the only Blue Devil to score in double figures.Coach Stone liked the hustle she saw out of her team Friday night, especially the play of Banks. Early in the first half, the junior went flying into the press row after diving for a loose ball.”Janese took out the monitor, the popcorn and the Coke all at once,” Stone said. “Our players are now appreciating the fact that they have an opportunity to play a game and be on the Kohl Center floor and compete, regardless of what the score is or who the opponent is. That is a tremendous sign, particularly with a young team.”Wisconsin was much improved Friday night at the free-throw line, something the team has been struggling with so far this season.Other than an early miss by Banks, the Badgers made the rest of their free throws to finish 15-16 from the line.”Janese apologized for starting off on the wrong foot because she missed the first one,” Stone joked. “This team is impressionable in what we ask them to do. We tell them to focus on certain things. They study the game plan.”UW was also successful at working the ball down low, with 44 of the team’s points coming in the paint.”We definitely emphasized that we had the height advantage,” Gibson said. “We wanted to take it to the hole. We are pretty accurate when we get it inside.”Early in the game, freshman forward Brittany Heins suffered a left ankle injury. She is listed as day-to-day; in addition, guard Annie Crangle will be out several weeks with a lower-leg injury.”It’s an overuse injury,” Stone said. “She’ll be out for a little bit. We hope to get her back as soon as we can.”Wisconsin will look to continue their home winning streak as in-state rival UW-Milwaukee (1-3, 0-0 Horizon) comes to the Kohl Center tonight.last_img

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