Nov. 10, 2012
MADISON, Wis. – Wisconsin women’s basketball tips off its 2012-13 season, hosting intrastate rival Milwaukee on Sunday at 6 p.m. at the Kohl Center. The Badgers lead in the overall series 21-1against the Panthers, with a 68-51 victory last season in Milwaukee.
The Badgers won both of their exhibition games to start the season, a 90-39 trouncing of UW-La Crosse on Nov. 1, and a 60-47 win over Concordia-St. Paul on Nov. 4.
Head coach Bobbie Kelsey kicks off her second season as the Badgers head coach. Kelsey led UW to a 9-20 mark last season and tied for ninth in the Big Ten at 5-11.
Wisconsin returns two of their top three scorers for 2012-13. Senior Taylor Wurtz led the Badgers with 16.1 points per game while junior Morgan Paige added a career-high 10 points per game.
Kelsey also welcomes seven newcomers to her team, including two transfers. Juniors Michala Johnson (UConn) and Daria Kryuchkova (Jacksonville College) bring experience though Johnson will have to sit out the season due to NCAA transfer rules.
Of the five freshmen joining the team, Nicole Bauman had a stand-out performance against Concordia- St. Paul, scoring 17 points.
“In high school, she (Bauman) was a very high energy player, very good scorer,” said Kelsey. “She's not afraid. She doesn't play like a freshman. Her demeanor and her confidence level are very high. She almost looks like an upper classmen. You wouldn't be able to tell if you didn't know who she was.”
The Badgers return 60 percent of their scoring and 59 percent of their rebounding. Wurtz is the UW’s top returning rebounder with 7.6 rebounds per game. Junior Cassie Rochel was third on the team last season with 4.2 rebounds per game.
Last year’s Badger team was the best 3-point shooting and free throw shooting team in UW history. Wisconsin set overall and Big Ten-season records for 3-pointers made and attempted as well as free throw percentage.
Wisconsin looks to continue to improve under Kelsey in her second year as coach and the team seems more comfortable with each other, the coaching staff and the offense.
“I think they would say they feel a lot more comfortable,” said Kelsey. “Again, if you have a whole brand new situation with a coach and not being recruited by this person, it's difficult. So this year, my comfort level is better with them as well. I know who's going to do what. I know who's capable of doing what out there.”