Women's basketball: UW looks for conference win

Badgers face another young, rebuilding program with Michigan visiting the Kohl Center Sunday

Lo and behold the University of Wisconsin women's basketball team will not be the youngest group on the court Sunday afternoon at the Kohl Center.

The Badgers play five freshman and six upperclassmen and have struggled to a 1-6 Big Ten record. UW's opponent Sunday, Michigan, plays an incredible seven freshman, with two seniors and one sophomore. The Wolverines have stammered to a 1-7 conference mark. Michigan (5-14 overall) earned its first Big Ten win of the season a week ago, a 63-61 home win over Indiana.

The Wolverines are led by senior forward Tabitha Pool, the only player who has started all of Michigan's games this season. Pool leads the Wolverines in scoring (16.9 points per game), rebounding (9.0 per game), blocks (0.7 per game) and steals (1.9 per game). She plays an incredible 36.5 minutes per game; no other Michigan player averages more than 28. Pool also leads the team with 3.8 turnovers per game, however.

Pool averaged 18 points and 7.5 rebounds in two wins over Wisconsin last season.

Freshman forward Ta'Shia Walker is the only other Wolverine averaging double figure points (13.3 per game) this season and she has the top field goal percentage on the team (47 percent). Michigan is the second-worst shooting team in the Big Ten at 40 percent. The Badgers are not much better at 41 percent, third-worst in the league.

Walker is one of only three Big Ten freshman averaging double-figure scoring. The other two are Wisconsin guards Jolene Anderson (17.7) and Janese Banks (10.7). Michigan's defensive stopper, sophomore guard/forward Kelly Helvey, will likely check Anderson.

Michigan freshmen guards Jessica Starling, Becky Flippin, Krista Clement and Janelle Cooper each average at least 19 minutes per game. Clement leads the Wolverines with 3.6 assists per game.

What: Wisconsin (7-10 overall, 1-6 Big Ten) v. Michigan (5-14, 1-7)
When: Sunday, Jan. 30, 2 p.m.
Where: Kohl Center (17,142), Madison, Wis.
Broadcasts: Fox Sports North will televise the game live and WIBA AM 1310 will provide a live radio broadcast. Wisconsin Public Television will have a tape-delayed broadcast at 11 p.m.
Series notes: Wisconsin leads the all-time series 29-16 overall and 16-5 at home. Before losing two straight to Michigan last season, the Badgers had won 7 of 8 in the series.

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