first_imgComing off back-to-back road losses against Indiana and Penn State, the University of Wisconsin women’s basketball team (16-8, 5-6 Big Ten) is happy to be back at home. Inside the Kohl Center, the Badgers are an impressive 11-2 this season.”Home court has boded well for us in the past, and we hope that it holds true this week,” UW head coach Lisa Stone said at a press conference Monday.First, Wisconsin has a chance to avenge its disappointing performance in Bloomington, Ind., when it hosts the Indiana Hoosiers Thursday. Then, it faces Iowa in a primetime showdown Sunday.Playing Indiana twice in eight days is not surprising, considering the wackiness of the Big Ten schedule this season.”I think the schedule — it’s interesting for a lot of people,” Stone said. “We played three or four teams coming off a bye. We’ve played other teams a week apart, and some other teams in the league have done it like three or four times. … So it has been odd scheduling.”Even after the double-digit loss at Assembly Hall last Thursday, Stone doesn’t plan to change much entering this week’s rematch.”Our preparation in terms of the scouting report won’t be lengthy,” Stone said. “It’s fresh in [our] mind. We know what we need to do.”After the upsetting, winless week, Stone said the sub-par performances were byproducts of a lack of execution — not a lack of preparation.”It starts with our offense,” Stone said. “[Indiana’s] defense caused us to turn the ball over and led into transition baskets — so it starts with us. Finding better shots, being more patient, using the inside, using our post players more, having more inside post touches, ball reversals and more patience. That’s what we didn’t have last Thursday.”Stone is convinced the team’s execution won’t be a problem this Thursday.”We will be more prepared in terms of making sure that we get touches in different areas and get a higher-percentage shot,” Stone said. “That led to a transition game, but then once you get in a transition, it’s a number of things. It’s … tracking the ball, containing the ball handler, and then running the floor with the post players.” Triple threatJunior guards Jolene Anderson and Janese Banks continue to play well and score in bunches in the Badger backcourt. Still, Stone’s squad has yet to find a consistent third or fourth scorer.”It needs to be someone, and where it comes from has differed,” Stone said. According to Stone, freshman guard Rae Lin D’Alie has stepped up at times, and is good when she can get to the rim. Forward Brittany Heins was inserted into the starting lineup last week for her recent strong play, but her lack of scoring punch remains evident by her nine points in her last three games. Mariah Dunham and Caitlin Gibson have also shown signs of life. But outside of Banks and Anderson, no Badger has displayed the type of consistency to fill the role of third option for Stone’s offense.While No. 1 scoring-option Anderson has been putting up big second-half numbers of late, she doesn’t seem to get enough touches down the stretch, especially in last week’s defeats. But Stone assured the media her standout guard remains the go-to player during crunch time.”I think near the end of the game you think about who needs the basketball,” Stone said. “And when you try to find 41 (Anderson) and you can get the ball in her hands, good things usually come.”A lack of consistency on the road and in finding a third-scoring option has hurt the Badgers all season, but Stone remained positive and confident about the upcoming week.”I’m excited about the fact that we’ve showed tremendous progress from game to game,” Stone said. “It’s going to be nice to be back home and hopefully [we’ll have] a much different outcome.”last_img

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *