Some old bad habits returned, but the Badgers survived.
Wisconsin moved to 1-1 this season with a 49-38 win over Hampton in Friday's first round of the four-team Conesto/Coconut Grove Thanksgiving Classic in Miami.
The victory, though, came with caveats. Of the Badgers many struggles last season, ball control and foul trouble were paramount. Friday, Wisconsin turned it over 23 times and saw post players Lello Gebisa and Emily Ashbaugh struggle with foul problems. In addition, the team had a tough time finding the net, converting on just 34 percent of its field goal attempts. The foul trouble contributed to a diminished presence inside, helping Hampton pull down 20 offensive rebounds.
The Badgers, though, came away with a victory. Sophomore guard Ashley Josephson led the way with a career-high 18 points and Wisconsin held Hampton to a paltry 22 percent from the floor.
"It's a win," Wisconsin coach Lisa Stone said. "We take the win and move on. It will give us some confidence, but the concerns are turnovers and (Hampton's) 20 offensive rebounds. Understanding that teams are going to be scrappy, we have to get a little stronger and tougher with the ball."
Ashbaugh tallied 10 points and six rebounds despite playing just 23 minutes due to persistent foul trouble and Lello Gebisa played just nine minutes before fouling out. In addition, Wisconsin was without the services of forward Kjersten Bakke. As a result, sophomore Jordan Wilson played a career-high 35 minutes and corralled eight rebounds, also a personal best.
Wisconsin will face Butler (1-3), who beat Tennessee-Chattanooga 79-73 Friday, at 4:00 p.m. in Saturday's championship game.
Score by half
Hampton - (Field goals-Free Throws-Points) - Brendy Ellis (4-0-10), Nicole Brathwaite (3-1-7), Sharema Dean (3-0-7), Jade Jones (1-2-4), Necka Lancaster (2-0-4), Lynetta Sullivan (1-1-3), Tiffani Williams (1-0-2), Monique Smart-Kidd (0-1-1). Totals: 15-5-38.
Wisconsin - (Field goals-Free Throws-Points) - Ashley Josephson (5-6-18), Emily Ashbaugh (5-0-10), Stephanie Rich (2-2-7), Lello Gebisa (1-2-4), Jordan Wilson (2-0-4), Ebba Gebisa (1-0-3), Kandace Evans (1-0-2), Annie Nelson (0-1-1). Totals: 17-11-49.
Three point goals - Hampton 3 (Ellis 2, Dean). Wisconsin 4 (Josephson 2, Rich, E. Gebisa).
Rebounds - Hampton 42 (Brathwaite 8). Wisconsin 48 (Rich 9).
Assists - Hampton 8 (Sullivan 3). Wisconsin 14 (Rich 4). Turnovers - Hampton 18 (Dean 6). Wisconsin 23 (E. Gebisa 8).
Blocks - Hampton 2 (Brathwaite, Sullivan). Wisconsin 7 (E. Gebisa, Rich 3). Steals - Hampton 8 (Brathwaite, Dean 3). Wisconsin 7 (Rich 4).
Points - in the paint: Hampton 12, Wisconsin 10. - Off turnovers: Hampton 16, Wisconsin 4. - Fast break: Hampton 2, Wisconsin 2. - Bench: Hampton 9, Wisconsin 7. - Second chance: Hampton 6, Wisconsin 10.