Women’s basketball: Badgers face Northwestern with season on the line

first_imgThe Wisconsin women’s basketball team (7-21, 3-15) travels to Indianapolis this week as they fight to keep their season alive in the Big Ten Tournament.The Badgers, who finished thirteenth (second to last) in the conference, have an opening round game against Northwestern (15-15, 4-14), who finished twelfth.Though Wisconsin has a large task in front of them, March is all about adopting the mantra of “survive and advance,” and that is what Wisconsin must do to continue playing.Women’s basketball: Kelsey discusses end of regular season, start of Big Ten tournamentUniversity of Wisconsin women’s basketball finished their regular season Sunday with a 68-48 road loss to the Purdue Boilermakers (19-10, Read… Last time outThe Badgers had a two-game road trip last week, and though they came home empty-handed, there were some positive performances to build upon. For the first time this season, the Badgers’ trio of Michala Johnson, Nicole Bauman and Dakota Whyte played superbly during the same game and the Badgers nearly upset Big Ten champion Maryland on the road. Unfortunately, the trio could not replicate that success and fell badly to Purdue in the season finale. Wisconsin’s keys to victoryGet Bauman going earlyAs mentioned above, the big three had an outstanding performance last Thursday in College Park, Maryland, scoring 54 of the team’s 77 points. Leading the trio was Bauman who shot 75 percent from behind the line and dished out five assists.For the Badgers offense, more specifically for their big three, to get going, Bauman needs to hit her outside shot to stretch the defense. If she gets going early, she can open up the middle for Johnson and forward Avyanna Young.Take care of the ballNorthwestern leads the league in steals, with over 10 per game, and has the highest turnover margin as well. The Wildcats value the ball and put pressure on opposing defenses by not allowing easy transition baskets. For the Badgers to be successful, they will need to protect the basketball and cut down on their turnovers. Opposing player to watch: Nia CoffeyThe junior forward from Minnesota has been the focal point of the Northwestern offense all season, averaging just under 20 points per game, and has commanded double teams when she touches the ball. In addition to her offensive skillset, Coffey is a savvy post player averaging 10 rebounds and two blocked shots per game.For Wisconsin to be successful in shutting down the Northwestern attack, they will need to limit Coffey to the 15 points she scored in the team’s first and only matchup, a 71-53 Northwestern win just two weeks ago.last_img

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