Badgers women's basketball team runs past UW-Milwaukee
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UW WOMEN’S BASKETBALL

Badgers women's basketball team runs past UW-Milwaukee

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The University of Wisconsin women’s basketball team will go undefeated in its in-state rivalries this season.

The Badgers made sure of that with a convincing 71-40 blowout victory over UW-Milwaukee on Sunday evening at the Kohl Center.

It will be their only in-state contest, as UW will not face either Marquette or UW-Green Bay this season.

That made Sunday’s game especially important to the seniors, even though none of the active ones is actually from the state. After going just 2-6 against their in-state rivals over their first three seasons, they were determined to end that on a winning note.

Just ask honorary Wisconsinite Abby Laszewski.

“I do definitely take more of a Wisconsinite identity when these in-state games come,” said Laszewski, whose family has Wisconsin roots even though it now lives in Florida. “I know the seniors, Kendra (Van Leeuwen) and Suzanne (Gilreath), who were playing tonight, the first game against Milwaukee when we were freshmen we lost and we didn’t want that to happen again. We said this is our last in-state rivalry so let’s go out with a win. So it feels good.”

That group actually lost its first two meetings with the Panthers before ending the skid last year with a road victory.

This game was never really in doubt as the Badgers (3-1) jumped out to a 15-4 lead in the first quarter and stretched it to 30-16 at halftime.

Any thoughts of a comeback the Panthers (1-3) might have had were quickly vanquished as the Badgers opened the third quarter on a 19-3 run to blow open a 48-19 lead and allow coach Jonathan Tsipis to start clearing his bench early.

It was a welcome performance following a disappointing 74-57 loss at Colorado on Thursday night.

“Bouncing back was very important,” said sophomore Imani Lewis, who scored 19 points for the second consecutive game to lead the way. “We hit a downfall and that’s a game we should’ve won, but you don’t want to follow a downfall with a downfall.

“The important thing was to not let the same thing that caused us to lose that game to affect us in the next game. We all know as a team that rebounding was not our best that night and our defense was not the greatest. The thing is to not making the same mistakes in this game.”

One of the Badgers’ biggest issues in the first three games was allowing opponents an average of just over 18 offensive rebounds per game. Sunday, the Panthers had just eight offensive boards.

“Our main goal was to stop letting teams get offensive rebounds and I think today really showed we’re a good rebounding team,” Lewis said.

The Panthers, playing their third Big Ten Conference opponent in eight days, entered the game shooting 50 percent from 3-point range. But they missed their first 16 shots from beyond the arc and finished just 2-for-23.

“Defensively, i thought we did a really good job,” Tsipis said. “We never let them get started and I think we contested a decent amount.”

Milwaukee coach Kyle Rechlicz, whose top player, Megan Walstad, has yet to play because of an injury, was disappointed with her team’s performance.

“I thought we played very poorly,” said Rechlicz, a former UW player and assistant coach. “That’s a credit to Wisconsin because they came out sharp and ready and we didn’t. I wish we could’ve given them a better game because I think we’re a better team than we showed tonight.”

She was, however, impressed with the way her alma mater played.

“I really think that Tsipis has done a great job of getting them to play harder,” she said. “He’s done a really good job of motivating them, which means his culture is coming into play. They’re crashing the boards hard, they’re moving with a purpose on offense and they’re really playing more together than I’ve ever seen them. It’s fun basketball to watch unless you’re on the opposite side.”

And in this case it didn’t help to be an in-state rival.

“This being an in-state rivalry game really pumped us up because we knew we didn’t want to lose to them,” said Lewis, a New Jersey native. “I felt like everybody, even if they weren’t from the state of Wisconsin, treated it like they were from Wisconsin.”

The Badgers were without one of their Wisconsinites, freshman guard Sydney Hilliard, who sat out because of a concussion.

UW-MILWAUKEE

min fg-a ft-a rb pf a to pts

Odegard 24 4-12 0-0 6 4 0 2 9

Schmelzer 26 0-2 1-2 3 3 1 4 1

Bisping 15 0-2 4-4 0 2 1 2 4

Cera 20 1-6 1-2 0 3 1 2 3

Levy 19 2-5 0-0 3 0 1 2 5

Staver 18 4-5 0-0 2 3 1 2 8

Reit 23 3-8 0-0 7 0 0 2 6

Wtmeshus 19 1-3 0-0 4 3 0 1 2

Fischer 14 1-5 0-0 1 1 0 0 2

Heard 13 0-6 0-0 2 2 2 2 0

Moore 9 0-0 0-0 1 1 0 0 0

Totals 16-54 6-8 32 22 7 20 40

WISCONSIN

min fg-a ft-a rb pf a to pts

Laszewski 27 6-11 1-1 4 1 1 2 13

Lewis 22 7-14 5-5 5 2 1 0 19

Gilreath 26 2-7 0-0 3 0 4 0 5

Pospisilova 26 4-6 0-0 5 2 1 2 10

VanLeeuwen 25 1-4 1-2 3 0 6 1 3

Beverley 14 0-3 0-2 1 0 1 0 0

Stauffacher 21 1-2 3-4 4 2 1 1 5

Luehring 19 2-3 2-2 1 2 1 3 6

Bragg 8 2-4 0-0 2 3 1 0 4

Stapleton 6 1-2 2-2 1 1 0 0 4

Crowley 3 0-1 0-0 0 0 0 1 0

Mathiason 3 1-1 0-0 0 0 0 0 2

Totals 27-58 14-18 37 13 17 11 71

Team totals include rebounds and turnovers

UW-Milwaukee 4 12 10 14 — 40

Wisconsin 15 15 22 19 — 71

3-pointers — UWM 2-23 (Levy 1-3, Odegard 1-4, Bisping 0-1, Staver 0-1, Wittmershaus 0-1, Schmelzer 0-2, Fischer 0-2, Heard 0-2, Cera 0-2, Reit 0-5), W 3-14 (Pospisilova 2-4, Gilreath 1-5, Van Leeuwen 0-1, Beverley 0-1, Stauffacher 0-1, Luehring 0-1, Crowley 0-1). Blocks — UWM 3 (Wittmershaus 2, Odegard 1), W 4 (Laszewski, Van Leeuwen, Stapleton, Mathiason). Steals — UWM 6 (Schmelzer 2, Levy 1, Staver 1, Reit 1, Fischer 1), W 4 (Gilreath, Van Leeuwen, Beverley, Stauffacher 1). Field goal percentage — UWM .296, W .466. Free throw percentage — UWM .750, W .778. Att. — 3,668.

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