Badgers Blast Blue Devils

Five Wisconsin women score in double figures as the Badgers hardly break a sweat in their triumph over Central Connecticut State.

MADISON, Wis. – If Wisconsin women's basketball is going to get back on the national landscape again, they are going to need to routinely have nights like they did tonight. Granted, their competition won't always be this easy, but for a program that hasn't had a winning season in four years, head coach Lisa Stone will take the results any way that she can get them.

"It was just a great team effort and this feels good," Stone said. "There were a lot of smiles on the floor. I thought we worked the ball pretty well."

Five players scored in double figures to help the Wisconsin women's basketball team (3-0) to a 75-45 win over Central Connecticut State Friday to improve to 3-0 for the second consecutive year. Sophomore Caitlin Gibson led the Badgers with 12 points while rookie Mariah Dunham posted career-bests in ten points and eight rebounds.

Junior Jolene Anderson aided the Badger effort with 11 points and led the team in rebounding, along with Dunham, with eight. Classmate Danielle Ward also chipped in 10 points, as did rookie Teah Gant, whose 10 scores were a personal-best. Two players, Janese Banks and Ivanna Mijalcevic, were just one point shy of putting seven Wisconsin players in double digits, both finished with nine.

"When everybody gets to play you can loosen up and prepare for a number of games that we have coming up and do some different things, we're making some progress and its fun to watch," Stone said.

The Badgers were an even 50 percent from the field, hitting 29-of-58 shots on the night while limiting the Blue Devils to just 35 percent shooting. Wisconsin also owned a 34-30 advantage on the glass and continued to dominate down low offensively, scoring 44 points in the paint, compared to just 14 for CCSU.

Wisconsin also turned the ball over a season-low 13 times while forcing 23 Blue Devil errors. The Badgers scored 32 of its points off turnovers.

"(Wisconsin) started out putting on a lot of pressure," CCSU head coach Yvette Harris said. "We knew that they would overplay the wings and we had practiced and prepared and told our team that would happen, and we actually ran a couple of plays that we use when people overplay the wings to get open. The first play of the game we ran, executed, got a score, and then for some reason we went away from that."

In the first half, Wisconsin jumped out to a 15-5 lead at the 14-minute mark and continued to build on it after a 10-0 run put the Badgers up 25-5 with 10:16 left to play in the first half. UW led by 20, 37-17, at the break.

In was more of the same in the second half, with Wisconsin leading by as many as 32 points near the end of the game. The Badgers were a perfect 10-of-10 from the charity stripe in the second stanza and finished the game 15-of-16 to mark a season-best 93.8 percent.

"We didn't do anything differently," Stone said. "(Free throw percentage) was the first thing I showed them at the end of the game. It was some confidence, I told them to take a deep breath and take advantage."

Wisconsin returns to action with a 7 p.m. game Monday at home against in-state rival UW-Milwaukee.

UW Badgers contributed to this story

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