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Thursday, February 29, 2024
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Badgers women’s basketball blows past Huskies in their return home

The Wisconsin women’s basketball team won their fourth home game this season against the Northern Illinois Huskies.

The Wisconsin Badgers women’s basketball team defeated the Northern Illinois Huskies 75-54 Wednesday at the Kohl Center.

Wisconsin was 4-2 leading into the matchup, while Northern Illinois was 3-3. Neither of the teams have had any conference play this season. 

The Badgers took on the Huskies for the third time in program history and for the first time since 2015. Wisconsin led the series 2-1 before Wednesday’s game.

Senior Brooke Schramek, sophomore Ronnie Porter, sophomore Sania Copeland, senior Natalie Leuzinger and sophomore Serah Williams started for the Badgers. Williams won the tip to give the Badgers a quick start, which led to Copeland scoring the first points after only four seconds passed. Northern Illinois immediately applied pressure on Williams defensively, double-teaming once she got the ball in the paint.

With defensive pressure on Williams, Wisconsin found scoring in Leuzinger, who had six points in the quarter. A 3-point buzzer-beater from D’yanis Jimenez helped the Badgers end the quarter with a 20-14 lead.

Jimenez was first to score for Wisconsin in the second quarter. Even with the defensive pressure, Williams added eight points in the quarter. 

However, the Badgers struggled with offensive rebounds, tallying just one in the quarter and only two in the half. The team also had six assists in the quarter and four steals. The score was 44-26 leading into halftime. 

After a steal at the beginning of the third quarter, Schramek was able to capitalize with a 3-pointer for Wisconsin.  The Badgers played great defensively in the quarter, with five steals and two blocks. 

Williams was able to play through Northern Illinois’ defense, scoring six more points in the third quarter. Copeland had an impressive block on Kortney Drake’s 3-point shot to end the quarter. The Badgers were up 64-39 going into the final quarter.

To start the last quarter, Jimenez got another steal for Wisconsin. This led to a 3-point jumper from Copeland, assisted by Schramek. 

With a comfortable lead, head coach Marisa Moseley put in an all-freshmen lineup for the last three minutes. A final 3-pointer from Tessa Grady gave the Badgers their 21-point lead to end the game. The final score was 75-54.

Wisconsin had five players score double digits. Williams led all scorers with 16 points, five rebounds and four blocks. Williams now leads the Big Ten in blocks with 20 this season. 

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Jimenez shot with 100% accuracy on the night, scoring 13 points with six assists. Copeland added 11 points, three steals and two blocks. Porter and Leuzinger both scored 10 points.

Moseley applauded her team for their first half performance Wednesday, calling it “the best, most clean we’ve played, probably since I’ve been here.”

“It’s one of our best showings,” she added.

Schramek, who had nine points and six assists, credited the team’s success to selfless play.

“Knowing that everyone on the team believes in each other” boosts confidence and makes it easy to play selflessly, Schramek said. 

Wisconsin’s 20 assists Wednesday demonstrated selfless playing, Mosely added.

The Badgers are 5-2 following Wednesday’s game and 5-0 at home on the season. Wisconsin will take on the Butler Bulldogs next at the Kohl Center at noon on Dec. 3.

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