B1G Game 14: Gophers Host Wisconsin (2-14-21)

Ignatius L Hoops

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Badgers Badgering Badgers
Before the first Badger/Gopher meeting there were two questions:

  • Now that Sydney Hilliard has transformed her game, can she transform the Badgers?
  • And while doing so, can she ensure Jonathon Tsipis’ return?
The answers are no and no.

Well…there may be a Stapleton exception which portals you to a fifth dimension and keeps Jonathon Tsipis employed. Last night the Badgers won their biggest game since the Bobby Kelsey era taking down #12 Ohio State 75-70 in Madison. It wasn’t a fluke. Imani “double-double” Lewis had a career night with 27 points and 14 rebounds. Lewis even knocked down her first three of the season and the third of her Badger career. Sydney Hilliard had a solid night with 13 points and 7 assists. If there was a surprise, it was Sara Stapleton. The 6’3” Badger center from Blaine, with the vertical leap of a um…badger, contributed 13 points and 10 rebound helping to limit the damage down by OSU’s post players. Stapleton pretty much doubled her normal game output.

Two keys to the game were an 11-0 Wisconsin run mid-way through the 2nd quarter giving the Badgers a 33-27 lead. From that point, the Buckeyes appeared to have one of those Buckeye quandaries where the coaching staff and the players kept waiting for some one to step up and take over. Meanwhile, they kept launching bricks especially from beyond the arc and from the foul line. When Lewis received a technical early in the fourth quarter for exuberantly demonstrating how she had been hacked, OSU rallied to tie; but then let the Badgers slip away and prepare for their trip to Minneapolis.

Wisconsin was 0-4 after their January 3rd overtime loss to Minnesota in Madison 83-88. They enter the rematch in Minneapolis 2-13. Their first win came on January 31st at the Kohl Center over the hapless Illini 69-57 and ended a Badger 11 game conference losing streak. The usual suspects led the way for the Wisconsin: forward Imani Lewis posted 22 points and 16 rebounds and guard Sydney Hilliard 18 points and 8 rebounds. They got help from guard Estella Moschkau with 12 points and 6 rebounds. Illinois’ was paced by Jeanae Terry with 28 points and 11 rebounds.

The win came despite the Badgers committing 20 turnovers to the Illini’s 14. Illinois had 12 steals; Wisconsin 7. These are normal negative margins for Wisconsin. The Badgers commit 17.2 turnovers/game while causing 11.1 a -6.17 differential. They are last in the B1G by almost 2 turnovers/game. By reference, Minnesota is 10th with 16.1 turnovers/game while causing 14.8. That’s a -2.07 differential. Even In their win versus Ohio State Wisconsin committed 15 turnovers to the Buckeyes 6. OSU converted the turnovers into 23 points while UW converted for 9 points. The Badgers usually dig themselves a big turnover hole.

Then, to climb out of the hole, they use a sand pail shovel. They are 13th in offense 65.7/points per game and last in the Big Ten in scoring margin; losing by -11.4 points per game. In their five games before defeating Ohio State, Wisconsin defeated Illinois by 12 but lost to Michigan State by -32 points, Nebraska -16, Maryland -36 and Penn State -24. Their losses generally are decisive.

Meanwhile Sydney Hilliard with 15.9 points/game and Imani Lewis with 15.1 point/game continue their solid seasons. However, in the first Badger/Gopher game the leading scorer was Julie Pospisilova with 28 points and 7 rebounds. Hilliard (21 points and 11 assists) and Lewis (13 points and 5 rebounds) did their part. But, once again, Badger turnovers did THEIR part. Wisconsin committed 21 turnovers to Minnesota’s 10. The Badgers had 6 steals to the Gopher’s 9. Points off turnovers: Minnesota 25 and Wisconsin 9. Badger turnovers helped juice the Minneosta offense: Hubbard led with 24 points, Sissoko had 16 points and 11 rebounds, Bagwell-Katalinich 16 and Scalia and Powell 11 each.

If there’s a single lesson, It’s that Wisconsin battles itself as much as the opponent.


Badgers Big Ten Record (2-13)

Wins:
Illinois 69-57, Ohio State 75-70

Losses: @ Iowa 78-85, Rutgers 56-70, @ Michigan 49-92, Minnesota 83-88, Northwestern 55-80, @ Indiana 49-74, Michigan 40-69, Maryland 70-79, @ Purdue 55-56, Michigan State 62-94, @ Nebraska 68-84, @ Maryland 48-84, @ Penn State 74-98


Sydney Hilliard’s Last Six Games

TeamPtsRebAsstMinFoul
Michigan State1535321
Nebraska1662293
Illinois1884342
Maryland2041311
Penn State1863351
Ohio State1327371


Imani Lewis Last Six Games:

TeamPtsRebAsstMinFoul
Michigan State17120292
Nebraska19130341
Illinois22161352
Maryland1341320
Penn State18100302
Ohio State27141333


Probable Starters:

HGTPOSYRPLAYERMINAVGREB
5’11”GSoSydney Hilliard33.515.95.5
6’1”FJrLewis Imani30.615.19.0
6’0”GSoJulie Pospisilova29.67.13.4
6’3”F/CSoSara Stapleton18.36.73.4
6’1”GGrEstella Moschkau25.76.52.8


Bench:

HGTPOSYRPLAYERMINAVGREB
6’0”GRJrBrooke Schramdk16.02.61.9
5’11”FSoTara Stauffacher15.72.51.6
6’2”F/CFrKate Thompson11.52.62.3
6’1”GFrHallie Douglass17.83.12.1
6’2”GRJrAlex Luehring6.91.50.9
 

GringaGopher

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I was thinking before the IL. game that the WI. might be easier but after their upset of OSU not so fast. I hope Hubbard is ready and Scalia heals fast.
 

ndnae

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I have been watching the Gophers on btn+ on my computer for years. It went from frustrating to watch because the people filming didn't know what they were doing to a pretty enjoyable experience. I'm sure a lot of you more tech savvy than me have been casting it to your tv for years. I just started using roku and found out they have the btn+ app. It works great and I even put it on my main tv even though it's a smart tv.
 

Frink

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I have been watching the Gophers on btn+ on my computer for years. It went from frustrating to watch because the people filming didn't know what they were doing to a pretty enjoyable experience. I'm sure a lot of you more tech savvy than me have been casting it to your tv for years. I just started using roku and found out they have the btn+ app. It works great and I even put it on my main tv even though it's a smart tv.
I have been using a BTN + for Women's Basketball and Volleyball for years. I really feel like the quality of the streaming has stepped up this year. In past years it would get blurry, stall or even drop altogether. No issues with that this year.

And I've been using a Google Chromecast, which works great.
 

Katogopher

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Badgers practically trying to give this game to the Gophers who refuse to grab it so far.
 

Frink

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We've been okay on defense against an admittedly weak team but we should definitely be doing better on the offensive end.
 

Frink

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Think I'm going to start them Minnesota Gopher themed amusement park think I'm going to start a Minnesota Gopher theme amusement park. I'm going to call the roller coaster The Sissoko.
 

Katogopher

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Nothing frustrates me more than carelessness with the ball. These unforced TO’s allowed Wisconsin back into it. Powell’s decision making is question again. Hopefully they got over their third quarter blues in the second quarter.
 

Ignatius L Hoops

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Badgers with 12 turnovers and Gophers with 10.

Borowicz with our only block. A big thanks to Sissoko and Scalia for keeping us in the lead.
 

Frink

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The ball movement has been good start the second half but it's all around the perimeter. Good example of how much we need an inside post presents.
 

Ignatius L Hoops

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Terrific game by Sissoko 7-9 from the field, 2-2 from three and 4-4 from the line. 20 points 7 rebounds and 2 steals. 1 assist and 4 turnovers.

It's good to sweep the Badgers again.
 

GringaGopher

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The TO's continued but we were good from 3 again today. I feel like the refs called a foul when WI. took a shot in the paint. Many of them were fouls but that 4th on Sissoko where she went for the rebound was bogus. In the end they continue to improve and got the W.
 

Katogopher

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Some of the fouls called against Lewis were suspect but credit Wisconsin going after them and getting them onto foul trouble. Sissoko getting better as the season has progressed, more good plays than bad.
 

Hrothgar

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The large number of TOs, the lack of awareness of where the opponents are positioned on the floor, and careless ball handling by both teams are hard to watch. It seems more an issue of poor concentration than lack of skill.
 

Ignatius L Hoops

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Head coach Jonathan Tsipis
"When you shoot 49% from the field (but) obviously we didn't shoot it well from the 3-point line. I don't think people were ready to shoot threes, I don't think people set themselves in that way. I think we're better offensively. When you shoot that percentage, you have to be able to convert on your possessions and that's where we got hurt by turnovers. For us, its disappointing to have the 19 turnovers. When you score 44 points in the paint, hopefully you're going to shoot a pretty good percentage. We did a good job, especially Imani, in the paint.

"I thought for a majority of the game we were behind rebounding of the basketball and that goes to the aggressiveness that (Minnesota) had. You look at it and say the 3-point shooting (made the difference). (Minnesota's) Sara Scalia, I thought the two (triples) that she hit in the second half were gigantic. And then you start getting some complimentary people helping a little bit and then you get someone like Bagwell Katalin, her jumpers were really key baskets for them.

"They had that third scorer and you look across the board and that's the difference in the game. Imani (Lewis) has 27 and Syd (Hilliard) gets 15 and we don't have another double-figure scorer. When you lose you a game by five points, I think that third scorer really helped them."
 

MNGirlsHoops

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Wis game
  • we looked like the better team which is a sign this team is growing. the first game between the two I didn't think so.
  • Sissoko is settling down, getting more confidence each game
  • There was a stretch where we really moved the ball, and a stretch where we dribbled to much.
  • When Scalia is feeling it, we need to identify when she is open in space, couple passes were just too late to her.
  • Klarke needs to keep working, get stronger in offseason so she can impact the game on either end.
  • Bagwell gave us good minutes.
  • Mershon is steady, active.. Not her best game, seemed out of sync at times, but still made up for it by being active.
  • Lexi is settling in, was active defensively.
  • Not sure what to think about Diva missing all these games and how/where she fits in when back. She certainly can help us, but if this is her last year, how many min do you want to take away from the younger kids..
  • Strande can provide some scoring eventually if we need it opposite Scalia.
  • Katie brings energy.
  • Jazz made some big free throws down the stretch, hit a couple big shots late, but struggled in the decision making - when to drive, when to pass. we are a better team when players get touches, we get stale when we overdribble at the PG spot.
 
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