Wisconsin returns home for senior night, Valentines Day date with Rutgers

Cayla McMorris's Wisconsin career concluded Wednesday with a loss to Northwestern.

Image By: Cameron Lane-Flehinger and Cameron Lane-Flehinger

Coming off of a heartbreaking defeat on Sunday at Nebraska, the Wisconsin women’s basketball team (2-11 Big Ten, 9-17 overall) returns home Wednesday night for senior night to welcome the struggling Rutgers Scarlet Knights (6-7, 18-9). In doing so, the Badgers will look to surpass their win total from each of the last four seasons.

In UW’s loss last Sunday, it came down to a simple inbound pass with 5.2 seconds. Trailing only by a single point, disaster struck the Badgers as without no timeouts, they were unable to get the ball inbounds and whistled for a five-second violation.

Throughout the game on Sunday the main scoring option for the Badgers was junior forward Marsha Howard, as she had herself a field day as she scored 23 points and grabbed nine rebounds. In four out of the last five games, Howard has gone into a different dimension as she is averaging 19 points and six rebounds.

“After the Illinois game with the foul issues I had that was a big turning point for me, I realized that my team needed me on the floor in tough situations,” Howard said. “I changed my mindset around where I’m on the floor more and committing less fouls, I think the first game after the Illinois game I had no fouls at all.”

The other key offensive cog on Sunday was senior guard Cayla McMorris as she dropped in 11 points and contributed on the boards as well grabbing six on the night. Wednesday night, McMorris will play her last home game at the Kohl Center in her career.

For the visiting Scarlet Knights, redshirt senior guard Tyler Scaife missed last years’ contest against the Badgers, as she recovered from open-heart surgery and received a medical redshirt in the process. Scaife has come back with a bang for her final season in Piscataway, NJ, as she leads the Scarlet Knights with 19.2 points a game — far and above anyway else on the team.

Rutgers’ key this season has been its unrelenting defensive pressure as it leads the Big Ten with fewest points allowed per game 58.9 and 12.1 steals per game. It will be reliant on its defense creating easy scoring opportunities as it is in the bottom third of scoring offense in the Big Ten, only averaging 65.9 points per game.

Ball security will be key Wednesday night, as the Scarlet Knights lead the conference in steals. Against Nebraska, UW only had 10 turnovers, though, so if it can limit turning the ball over it will limit Rutgers’ easy fast break chances.

Wisconsin is looking to get back in the win column in its last chance playing in front of its home crowd.

Tipoff is slated for 7.p.m. at the Kohl Center Wednesday night.

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