For 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.
LU VERNE — More is being learned about the man being held for Wednesday’s murder of a bank employee in the Kossuth County town of Lu Verne. 35-year-old Valentino Williams of Coralville was charged with first-degree murder and first-degree robbery in Wednesday’s killing of 43-year-old Jessica Weisharr, of Algona. Williams is accused of shooting Weisharr multiple times outside of the Security State Bank. Weisharr died at the scene.Prosecutors say Williams was on parole, drove across the state in a rental car, and fatally shot Weisharr during the bank robbery. Investigators say in court documents that surveillance video showed a man wearing a dark coat with a hoodie over his head emerge from a black SUV carrying a backpack and a large handgun. He’s shown firing the gun several times before fleeing the scene.Witnesses reported the fleeing vehicle to law enforcement, and officers conducted a traffic stop of a Mazda CX-5 matching the description about an hour after the shooting on Interstate 35. Williams was identified as the driver and detained.An Iowa Department of Corrections spokesman says Williams was sentenced to prison in 2010 for a robbery conviction in Johnson County. In 2017, he was granted work release to a Coralville halfway house and was granted parole the following year. He has been under supervision since then and his parole was set to continue until 2023.Investigators said they recovered a dark coat that had been abandoned on a rural road near Lu Verne that contained a laminated card for a Mazda CX-5 with the VIN number that matched the car Williams was driving. A rental car company confirmed that Williams rented the vehicle in Iowa City on Monday, and that it was due back on Thursday.