The University of Wisconsin women’s basketball will open and close the Big Ten Conference season against Rutgers, the conference announced Friday when it released its schedule for the 2019-20 season.

The Badgers, entering their fourth season under coach Jonathan Tsipis, will play host to the Scarlet Knights in the conference opener on Dec. 28 at the Kohl Center and finish the season at Rutgers on Feb. 27.

Rutgers is one of five teams UW will play home-and-home games against. The Badgers also will play Iowa, Nebraska, Minnesota and Purdue twice.

UW will play single home games against Penn State, Michigan, Maryland and Northwestern and will travel for games at Michigan State, Indiana, Illinois and Ohio State.

The Badgers (15-18 overall, 4-14 Big Ten last season) return three starters from last season in 6-foot-1 sophomore Imani Lewis, 5-7 junior Niya Beverley and 5-10 senior Kendra Van Leeuwen.

Tsipis is looking for contributions from a freshman class of 5-11 Sydney Hilliard, 6-3 Sara Stapleton, 5-11 Tara Stauffacher and 6-foot Julie Pospisilova.

Carmen Backes, a 6-foot redshirt freshman, is expected to return after missing last season with a knee injury, and 6-2 redshirt junior Courtney Fredrickson also is coming back from a knee injury, although she suffered a setback recently while working out.

The Badgers will face UW-Whitewater in an exhibition game on Oct. 30 and open the non-conference season at home against North Florida on Nov. 5.

UW women’s basketball schedule:

Wed., Oct. 30 — UW-Whitewater (exhibition)

Tues., Nov. 5 — North Florida, 7 p.m.

Sun., Nov. 10 — Wofford

Thurs. Nov. 14 — at Colorado

Sun., Nov. 17 — UW-Milwaukee, 6 p.m.

Tues. Nov. 26 — Eastern Illinois

Thurs.-Fri., Nov. 29-30 — vs. Arkansas and Ball State at Bahamas Hoopfest, New Providence, Bahamas

Thurs. Dec. 5 — at Georgia Tech

Sun., Dec. 8 — North Dakota State, 2 p.m.

Thurs. Dec. 12 — Alabama State

Fri., Dec. 20 — Prairie View A&M, 7 p.m.

Sat., Dec. 28 — Rutgers

Tue., Dec. 31 — at Purdue

Sat., Jan. 4 — Penn State

Thur., Jan. 9 — at Nebraska

Sun., Jan. 12 — at Michigan State

Thur., Jan. 16 — Michigan

Sun., Jan. 19 — Iowa

Wed., Jan. 22 — at Minnesota

Sat., Jan. 25 — Nebraska

Thur., Jan. 30 — at Indiana

Sun., Feb. 2 — at Illinois

Thur., Feb. 6 — Minnesota

Sun., Feb. 9 — at Ohio State

Thur., Feb. 13 — Purdue

Sun., Feb 16 — at Iowa

Wed., Feb. 19 — Maryland

Sat., Feb. 22 — Northwestern

Thur., Feb. 27 — at Rutgers

March 4-8 — Big Ten Tournament at Indianapolis


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