Women’s Basketball: Badgers look to patch up rocky start to new year versus Penn State

first_imgThe University of Wisconsin women’s basketball team entered 2019 with a respectable 10–4 record, including wins against Pittsburgh and Purdue. As the season picks up, the Badgers (10-8, 1-5 Big Ten) will look to improve upon their last-place record in the Big Ten. So far, however, Wisconsin has been off to a cold start in 2019.After defeating Purdue at home on New Year’s Eve, the Badgers have now dropped four straight games to begin the new year, falling to Big Ten foes Penn State, No. 22 Iowa, No. 25 Indiana and Border Battle rival No. 23 Minnesota. Wisconsin has now lost eight of its last 12 games following a promising 6-0 start to the season.The Badgers 28-point loss to the Golden Gophers (13-4, 2-4) this past Thursday was its worst of the season, as Minnesota dominated a sluggish Wisconsin team from start to finish. The Gophers shot 49 percent from the field, knocking down six of 10 three-pointers in the process. In contrast, UW shot just 38.5 percent from the field and went 2-9 from beyond the arch, a season-low in both three-pointers made and attempted.Wisconsin’s usually stout defense could not contain Minnesota guard Kenisha Bell, who dominated with 25 points to lead all scorers. Minnesota out-rebounded the Badgers 37-28, and garnered 18 assists compared to Wisconsin’s eight.Perhaps most daunting from Thursday’s game is the reality that the Badgers shot better from the field than they did from the free throw line (38.1 percent).Women’s basketball: Former walk-on gives back to community with enthusiasmWisconsin Badgers fifth-year senior Lexy Richardson is leaving a lasting impression not only on her fellow teammates but on the Read…Nevertheless, UW will look to get its season back on track when it hosts Penn State (9-8, 2-4) Jan. 24 at the Kohl Center.The last time these two teams met was Jan. 3 in Happy Valley, Pa., where the Badgers fell 71–64. Though it feels like a quick turnaround to play the same team again, Head Coach Johnathan Tsipis and his team will look to use this to their advantage with that tough loss still fresh in their minds.Senior forward Marsha Howard led the Badgers in scoring in their first matchup. However, it was Penn State’s Teniya Page who led all scorers with 23 points, and who led the Nittany Lions to victory. Wisconsin will have to pay extra attention to Page — the Big Ten’s second-leading scorer — come Thursday.For the Badgers to redeem themselves, they will have to do a better job limiting the Nittany Lions’ second-chance opportunities. Penn State hauled in 17 offensive rebounds and scored 14 second-chance points in the teams’ first meeting. Forcing Penn State into one-shot possessions could prove to be a deciding factor.Football: After season of heartbreak, Wisconsin finds redemption in 35-3, Pinstripe Bowl win over MiamiAfter a Badger football season plagued by injuries which hampered preseason expectations, the University of Wisconsin football team (7-5) finished Read…The Badgers should also aim to limit their fouls and not allow Penn State too many trips to the foul line. The Nittany Lions have the third-best free throw shooting percentage in the Big Ten. Limiting points in the paint and forcing Penn State into outside shots will also be critical for the Badger defense, as Penn State made only five three-pointers in their first meeting at a 25 percent clip.Despite boasting one of the Big Ten’s top rebounding duos in Howard and freshman forward Imani Lewis, as well as one of the conference’s premier defenses, the Badger offense has struggled mightily this season. Wisconsin ranks 13th in the Big Ten in field goal percentage, three-point percentage and turnover margin.Though this team identifies with their defensive play, Wisconsin cannot expect to win games without consistent offensive production. As the season moves along, the Badgers have to shoot the ball better and improve their free throw shooting, which currently ranks dead-last in the Big Ten at a skimpy 53 percent.Entering the second half of the season on a four-game losing streak is certainly not what the Badgers or Tsipis had hoped for, but with only Big Ten games remaining on their schedule, Wisconsin will look to boost its stock in hopes of a postseason run and its first NCAA Tournament since 2010. Some key games to watch for: Jan. 31 at No. 9 Maryland, Feb. 14 vs. No. 17 Michigan State and Feb. 25 at No. 20 Rutgers.Tip-off is set for 8 p.m. on Thursday Jan. 24 the Kohl Center. The game can be viewed on BTN plus or listened to on 100.9 FM.last_img read more

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LeBron James won’t shut down phone during NBA’s restart

first_imgLeBron James will be skipping his “Zero Dark Thirty-23” mode this year during the NBA playoffs.The Lakers star normally leaves social media during the postseason to maximize his focus, but because of the coronavirus pandemic, James said his self-imposed ritual will change. “I won’t be turning my phone off during this run. I can’t afford to. I have to continue to check in with my family every single day,” James said Tuesday, per ESPN. “Making sure everything is still going well, especially in the uncertainty of what 2020 has brought to all of us. So I can’t afford to do that, just lose direct contact with everybody.”MORE: What happens if an NBA player leaves the bubble?From ESPN: In past years, James would curtail the time he spent on Twitter and Instagram in April through June to sharpen his focus. But during those playoff runs, he had the balance of playing home and away, flying back from road arenas to spend time with his wife, Savannah; mother, Gloria; and three children, Bronny, Bryce and Zhuri.James specifically cited his mom as someone he will “check in” with.James said social media provides him with a way to keep up with his family. If the Lakers make it to the NBA finals, James could be in the Orlando “bubble” for three and a half months — the longest he’s ever been apart from his wife and kids.The NBA returns on Thursday after suspending the season on March 11.James’ Lakers were leading the Western Conference and the Milwaukee Buck were on top of the NBA standings.last_img read more

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