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Marquette Women’s Basketball Preview: at Wisconsin

The women get involved in Badger Hate Week, and this game might get ugly.

NCAA Basketball: Texas A&M CC at Wisconsin Mary Langenfeld-USA TODAY Sports

Marquette dropped to 6-2 on the season after losing to UW-Green Bay on Tuesday night. It’s a bit of a bummer for the Golden Eagles, as they were already starting to slip on their Associated Press poll vote totals. When you’re only receiving votes and you lose to another team that’s receiving votes, things probably aren’t going to go well for you next time around.

The real tragedy of the loss to Green Bay is that Marquette never really even got started in that game. They fell behind 16-3 in the first few minutes, and never really got back into it. MU made it interesting by cutting the lead to just 10 at the start of the fourth quarter, but the Phoenix made a run early in the period to end the threat. It’s not the worst thing in the world to lose to UWGB, as they’ve won 18 straight Horizon League regular season titles. However, as the Golden Eagles search for their first NCAA tournament bid since 2011, it would have been nice to stack that home victory next to the wins over Arizona State and Oregon State.

Natisha Hiedeman was named Big East Player of the Week on Monday after recording the second triple-double in program history in MU’s game against Western Illinois. Not only was it the second MU triple-double, it was also just the fourth Division 1 women’s basketball triple-double in Wisconsin state history. It was also the most impressive performance of the four, as Hiedeman went for 12 points, 18 rebounds, and 10 assists.

The point of all of this is that Hiedeman is the second Golden Eagle to earn POW honors this season, joining classmate Erika Davenport amongst the honorees. While Hiedeman and Davenport both deserved their honors, it’s impressive to see that MU has had two POW winners and neither of them are Big East Player of the Year candidate Allazia Blockton. The Milwaukee native is currently leading the Big East in scoring by more than two points per game.

Game #9: at Wisconsin (4-7)

When: Sunday, December 11, 2016, at 1pm Central
Where: Kohl Center in Madison, WI
Audio/Visual: Big Ten Network has the TV broadcast & the video stream, & there’s live stats.
Twitter Updates: @MarquetteWBB

Wisconsin has a 13-10 lead in the all time series. However, since the two teams started playing almost every season in 1995, Marquette has a 9-8 advantage, including a win last season at the McGuire Center.

Here’s what we know about Wisconsin this season: They’re 1-1 in games where they score 100 points this season, and on top of that, they lost a game after allowing just 42 points. In other words, I’m not sure we actually know anything about the Badgers. What a weird team.

I can’t tell you anything about what the rest of the Big Ten thinks about the Badgers, because that conference only announces the top three teams in the preseason poll. It’s not exactly a bad thing to not be in the top three in a 14 team conference, so there’s not anything to worry about there. I can tell you that that there are no Badgers on either of the 10 player all-B1G teams voted on by the coaches or the media, but again: 14 team league. Not the worst thing in the world to be left out, especially with Maryland getting two players on both versions of the team.

Marquette’s defensive efforts will be focused on Cayla McMorris and Avyanna Young. Not only are they the only Badgers scoring more than 10 points per game, they’re also the only ones scoring more than seven point per game. Young, a 6’1” senior, is also leading the team in rebounding with 8.4 per contest. One thing that Marquette’s not really going to have to worry about is three point shooting. As a team, the Badgers shoot just 30% from long range. Freshman guard Gabby Gregory is shooting 41% while attempting less than three long range bombs per game, and freshman Suzanne Gilreath hit five of six attempts behind the arc against Mississippi Valley State to go from 24% on the season to 34%.