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BADGER HATE WEEK: Marquette Women's Basketball Starts Things Off Against Wisconsin

An early start to our yearly tradition as the Golden Eagles welcome the Badgers into the Al McGuire Center. Well, maybe welcome is a strong term.

I presume the people chasing Bucky are his handlers attempting to wrangle some pants on to him.  Freak.
I presume the people chasing Bucky are his handlers attempting to wrangle some pants on to him. Freak.
Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

Head coach Carolyn Kieger is faced with a tough proposition.

Her team is 2-5 this season, and that's maybe not that unexpected, if you take a view from before the season started.  However, we have to look at things as they transpire, and the fact of the matter is that Marquette should have beaten #7 Oregon State on Thursday night.  They had a 10 point lead on the Beavers in the third quarter, but while both teams had shooting woes all game long, once OSU stopped turning the ball over, they were able to bounce back and get the win to stay undefeated.

That give Kieger the task of bolstering her troops after a rough loss.  A couple of extra baskets here and there, and MU pulls the upset, so Kieger needs to make sure her very young team understands that they did take steps forward in the game, but they still need to be better in order to get wins like that in the future.

This is a big game for Marquette, as it's the middle game on a three game homestand before MU plays the next five games as the visiting team.  It's Auburn next week Sunday, and then MU won't be back in the Al McGuire Center until January 8th, and by then, they'll already be three games into the Big East schedule.  You'll notice I didn't say "five straight road games," because that's not really true.  One of the five straight away from the Al is a visit to UW-Milwaukee's campus on December 22.

Game #8: vs Wisconsin (3-3)

When: Sunday, December 6, 2015, at 2pm Central
Where: Al McGuire Center
Audio/Visual: TWC SportsChannel has the broadcast in MKE, and there's live stats.
Special Promotions: Bring a toy to donate for 2-for-1 admission!  If 3,000 fans fill the McGuire Center, then head coach Carolyn Kieger will take a Polar Bear Plunge on New Year's Day!
Twitter Updates: @MarquetteWBB

Well, I'd love to tell you about where the Badgers were expected to be this season, but they play in the Big Ten.  This means a conference with 14 teams that puts out a press release only telling you the top three teams in a vote of the league's coaches AND the league's media.  Thanks, guys.  Super helpful.

On the upside, they did put out a preseason all-conference team, which is something they don't do in other sports.  The 42 person "players to watch" list is usually not very helpful.  What we can determine here is that the Badgers don't have anyone on the 10 players named by either the coaches or the media.  That has to be a bit of a bummer for UW, as they return 2014-15 Big Ten Honorable Mention honoree Nicole Bauman and 2013-14 all-B1G first teamer Michaela Johnson, who missed most of last season on a medical redshirt.

We were *thisclose* to being able to say that the Badgers have lost every single true road game on their schedule this season after they dumped games at Dayton and at San Diego State this season.  However, the women's teams participate in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge, too, and UW came away with a 64-51 win at Wake Forest in their most recent game.  Wisconsin split their two home games so far this season, getting the win against Louisiana Tech (and former Golden Eagles Brooklyn Pumroy and Ashley Santos, not to mention head coach Tyler Summitt) and losing (badly) to Drake.

Bauman leads the Buckys in scoring so far this season at 15.2 points per game.  She's Wisconsin's most willing shooter, leading UW in three point attempts with 36, more than twice as many as anyone else.  HOWEVER, she's only hitting 27%, so feel free to leave her open, and stop her from passing since she's leading the team in assists, too.  Johnson is second in scoring at 10.2 per contest and she's leading the team in rebounds at 6.8 caroms per outing.