Credit Source: University of Wisconsin Athletics
MADISON, Wis. – Breaking open the game in the second quarter, the Wisconsin women’s basketball team dominated North Dakota, 80-60, on Sunday afternoon in the Kohl Center. The Badgers used a 10-0 run at the end of first quarter and the start of the second quarter to run away with the game.
For the second game this season, Wisconsin (2-2) had four players scoring in double-digits as well as a every Badger that saw the floor, scoring at lead one point for Head Coach Jonathan Tsipis.
Sophomore Sara Stapleton was one of those double-digit scorers, having herself a dominant day in the paint, totaling a career-high 16 points while adding nine rebounds to just miss her second career double-double. The 6-foot-3 forward also added two blocks on defense while shooting 8-11 from the field.
The sophomore guard duo of Sydney Hilliard and Julie Pospíšilovà connected for Wisconsin again today, handing out 11 combined assists. Hilliard led the Badgers in scoring for the fourth consecutive game, netting 18 points while Pospíšilovà added 12 of her own, including two baskets from 3-point range.
North Dakota (0-4) kept the Badgers in range for most of the first quarter, with a 15-13 Badger lead heading into the first break, but an 8-0 run in the first minute of the second period gave Wisconsin the momentum the needed to take a 10-point lead into halftime.
The second half was all Badgers and junior forward Imani Lewis came out of the locker room ready to get in on the scoring action. Lewis totaled 10 points on the afternoon, including eight points in the final period alone, as well as bringing down nine rebounds.
Sophomore Tara Stauffacher served as Wisconsin’s sixth man en route to taking down the Fighting Hawks. The Beaver Dam native not only played spoiler to many North Dakota offensive possessions as a defensive stopper, but she also added a career-high nine points while shooting 3–5 from 3-point range. The Badger bench totaled 22 points in the 20-point win.
As a team, Wisconsin shot 44.1% (30-68), including a season-best 42.1% (8-19) from 3-point range, while holding the Fighting Hawks to 31.5% (23-73). The Badgers won the rebounding game for the fourth time this season, outboarding UND 48-39. UW had a season-low 13 turnovers while dishing the ball off a season-high 19 times. The Badgers also had a season-high 11 blocks.
Straight from the court:
“Our team did a great job on a quick turnaround, they were really locked in yesterday. Obviously with only having nine players dressed we had to make sure everybody was ready.
“We shared the basketball, but we wanted to get Sara Stapleton going and we went in to her early to see how they would play the post and she did a fantastic job – 16 (points) and nine (rebounds), a career-high point-wise, one rebound away from a double-double.
“I thought the unselfishness on that second quarter run was really important. People passed up good shots for great shots, posts got the ball out of double teams for us to get another look at a three or another drive. We got (the lead) to 29, so to be able to get some people some extended time from the bench as well as not have to have Syd (Hilliard) and Julie (Pospíšilovà) play 35 minutes so we’re fresher and able to run our stuff more effectively.”
— Head Coach Jonathan Tsipis
“I think it’s all about doing a good job of staying aggressive but also being willing to facilitate. I thought Sara did a great job of being ready and getting physical early so that she can go up right away with the shot. I thought we just had great ball movement today.
“We just want to keep building our chemistry. We’re still kind of getting into the swing of things and once our teammates come back that have been gone for a little bit, we’ll just have to build that chemistry back again and be ready for these next couple games.”
— Sophomore Sydney Hilliard:
“Our guards were making a lot of shots from the outside which really helped open up the inside for me to be able to score, and they were also making great passes in to me and giving me great angles to score.”
–Sophomore Sara Stapleton
Notes to know:
- The Badgers recorded a season-low 13 turnovers while dishing off a season-high 19 assists. UW also had a season-high 11 blocks, which ties for ninth on the UW single-game record list. Wisconsin also shot a season-best 42.1% (8-19) from 3-point range and 80% (12-15) from the free-throw line to score a season-high 80 points.
- All nine available players saw action today and all nine scored at least one point.
- Sophomore Sara Stapleton scored a career-high 16 points and just missed her second career double-double with nine rebounds. The 6-foot-3 forward made a career best eight field goals while setting a career best with two assists and tying her career high with two blocks.
- Sophomore Sydney Hilliard has scored in double figures all four games this season, putting up a game-high 18 points vs. the Fighting Hawks. The 6-foot guard tied her career best with six assists.
- Graduate transfer Estella Moschkau tied her career best with five rebounds and also tied her career high by making two free throws.
- Sophomore Tara Stauffacher scored a career-high nine points, making a career best three 3-pointers.
- Freshman Kate Stapleton tied her career bests of four points and five rebounds. The 6-foot-2 forward dished off her first career assist and recorded a career-high three blocks.
Wisconsin remains home for its next competition, taking on Valparaiso on Dec. 20 at 2 p.m. from the Kohl Center. Find that game on Big Ten Network+ and U-100.9 radio.