The Wisconsin Badgers women’s basketball team takes on the North Florida Ospreys in the season opener Tuesday night, after a dominating 67-34 win in an exhibition game against UW-Whitewater last Wednesday.
Sophomore forward Imani Lewis led the Badgers in Wednesday’s win with a game-high 15 points and seven rebounds. The score was further boosted with contributions from senior guard Suzanne Gilreath with 10 points and sophomore guard Diamond Bragg with 10 rebounds.
The team is looking to build off a promising finish to last season as they finished with a 15-18 record overall — an upward movement under Head Coach Jonathan Tsipis compared to previous seasons.
The Badgers are working to continue the improvement displayed in their 2019 Big Ten tournament performance where they recorded two upset wins against then No. 12 Penn State and No. 5 Ohio State. They lost to both teams twice in the regular season.
With three starters returning this season to watch out for, including Lewis, Junior guard Niya Beverley and Senior guard Kendra Van Leeuwen, there is a promising outlook on the season ahead. Lewis is the team’s leading returning scorer and rebounder with an average of 12.2 points and 7.6 rebounds per game last season. Beverley averaged 7.6 points and 3.4 assists per game, and Leeuwen is the team’s leader in assists with 4.3 per game last season.
Tuesday’s opponent, North Florida, is also riding off a strong finish to their 2018-2019 season. Their overall season proved average until they won four out of their final five regular season games.
North Florida is expecting the return of Junior guard Tiffany Tolbert who had a season-ending injury after playing only three games last season. In those three games, she averaged 18.3 points per game. Joining Tolbert as a player to watch on Tuesday is Junior forward Jazz Bond who averaged 15.9 points and 7.5 rebounds a game.
Hopefully the Badgers can continue to ride on the momentum of last week’s exhibition win to come out on top in Tuesday’s season opener at the Kohl Center. Tip-off is at 7:00 p.m.