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Wisconsin Badgers Dominated in Road Test vs. Purdue Without Serah Williams



Wisconsin Badgers women's basketball head coach Marisa Moseley
Oct 9, 2023; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Wisconsin Badgers head coach Marisa Moseley speaks to the media at the Big Ten Basketball Media Days at Target Center. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports

After a nine-day layoff from non-conference play, the Wisconsin Badgers women’s basketball team returned to the court on Saturday evening and, well, maybe they could’ve used another day or two off.

The Badgers were dominated by the Purdue Boilermakers from the tip and ended up losing their second Big Ten game by 39 points. Here is the full, depressing, recap:

Wisconsin Badgers Women’s Basketball Final Score

Wisconsin Badgers (7-5 overall, 0-2 Big Ten): 50
Purdue Boilermakers (8-5 overall, 1-1 Big Ten): 89

Four Factors

eFG%: 38.2
Turnover%: 29.6
Off. Rebound%: 15.6
FTA/FGA: 27.5

Key Stats

FG%: 35.3 (18-of-51)
Opp. FG%: 51.5 (35-of-68)
3P%: 21.4 (3-of-14)
Opp. 3P%: 45.0 (9-of-20)
FT%: 78.6 (11-of-14)
Opp. FT%: 76.9 (10-of-13)
Points Per Possession: 0.704
Opponent Points Per Possession: 1.271
Rebounds: 24 (five offensive)
Opponent Rebounds: 44 (17 offensive)
Turnovers: 21
Forced Turnovers: 12

Wisconsin Badgers Team Leaders

  • Natalie Leuzinger: 15 points (5-of-6 FG, 1-of-1 3P), one rebound, one assist, one steal, -34
  • Tessa Grady: eight points (3-of-4 FG, 1-of-2 3P), one rebound, even
  • Ronnie Porter: four points (1-of-8 FG, 0-of-1 3P), five rebounds (two offensive), two assists, -37
  • D’Yanis Jimenez: seven points (3-of-8 FG), one rebound, two assists, two blocks, two steals, -18

Purdue Team Leaders

  • Jeanae Terry (WHO I LOVE DEARLY): 13 points (5-of-9 FG), 12 rebounds (five offensive), nine assists, one block, three steals, +41
  • Madison Layden: 14 points (5-of-7 FG, 4-of-5 3P), four rebounds (one offensive), five assists, two blocks, three steals, +39

Three-ish Thoughts on Wisconsin Women’s Basketball 

  1. To underscore the domination dished out by Purdue on Saturday, all you have to do is look at the disparity on the boards. The Boilermakers ended up with 20 more rebounds than the Badgers overall and also hit the offensive glass hard, corralling 17 of those which led to 16 second chance points. Purdue also attempted 17 more field goals than Wisconsin did, which directly correlates to the 17 offensive rebounds. Wild how that works!

    Freshman big Mary Ashley Stevenson feasted on the offensive glass, pulling down a team-high five (eight rebounds overall), while do-everything point guard Jeanae Terry matched Stevenson with five o-boards and a dozen (!!!) total. Halle Douglass and Brooke Schramek struggled to keep Purdue from getting good rebounding position and the Boilermakers took advantage.

    Purdue ended up with a 47.2% offensive rebounding rate on the game, which means they almost grabbed HALF of their misses. That, in my opinion, is bad.

  2. During the first portion of the season, Wisconsin was a bit better than last year in terms of protecting the rock. That changed against Purdue as the Badgers coughed the ball up 21 times. To compound these issues, the Boilermakers also scored 10 fastbreak points, half of which came early in the first quarter which helped Purdue open up a 10-1 lead barely three minutes into the game.

    Douglass, in her first start of the season, and Schramek both had issues with turnovers, but this was a teamwide disaster outside of Ronnie Porter who didn’t turn the ball over at all as UW’s point guard. Things weren’t great in the first quarter, with UW down 12 at the end of the period, but the train didn’t completely derail until the second quarter when Wisconsin turned it over six times in the first half of the frame and ended with eight over 10 minutes.

    Wisconsin fell back into old habits from last year and looked lost and disjointed on offense for most of the game. All of the turnovers were both a cause AND effect of this, which is super swell.
  3. The Badgers are one of the worst teams in the country (337th out of 360) at allowing opponents to attempt a lot of threes and even in a game like Saturdays, where they allowed fewer threes than normal, it bites them in the ass. Purdue shot 45% from deep (9-of-20) and continually put Wisconsin behind the 8-ball with their shooting.

    I’ve been saying all year that the Badgers were not going to survive allowing teams to attempt so many threes and I’m afraid it might be even worse than I thought. Now, if this was the only area of the court you were getting burned in you still might be able to win, right? But if you’re also being worked over in the paint, which Wisconsin was to the tune of 40 paint points scored by Purdue, you may end up losing by almost 40.
  4. Serah Williams didn’t play again and Ronnie Porter wore a surgical mask all game…what, uh, is up with that??? I haven’t seen anything reported about either of these things outside of Williams missing the game due to an “illness.” Presumably this is different from why she missed the last game (which was nine days prior) but I don’t know.

    Porter didn’t play well, but I wouldn’t contribute that to the mask. If she was still recovering from being sick that would probably slow her down and, quite frankly, the whole team, sans masks, struggled too. Williams being out again is concerning and hopefully it isn’t something serious or else this season will immediately go down the drain.

    Maybe we’ll learn more during Marisa Moseley’s weekly media availability, but she has been pretty secretive about injuries in the past.
  5. It was nice to see the bench players get some run in the second half, something Moseley has been loath to do in other games. Leena Patibandla and Ana Guillen each played 12 minutes, Tessa Grady logged 11, Lily Krahn played six, and Imbie Jones and Sacia Vanderpool got in for a couple of minutes at the end of the game too.

    Not only does Wisconsin not have a backup big that is comparable to Williams in talent, they barely have one at all. Douglass and Schramek are more wing type players and Vanderpool and Tessa Towers (6-foot-4 and 6-foot-5 respectively) barely play at all, so when Williams is out…all post presence on both sides of the court is out too.

    My appreciation of Patibandla’s game is well-known, but Grady is piquing my interest as well since she appears to be able to shoot the cover off the ball whenever she gets extended minutes.

Final Thought


This was bad and there’s really no other way to put it. While Wisconsin playing without Williams is always going to be a struggle, they looked like a high school JV team compared to Purdue on Saturday. And while the Boilermakers are a solid team…they aren’t going to be competing for the Big Ten title or anything this year. They are, ostensibly, a team Wisconsin can/should hang with and they may as well have been playing different sports on Saturday.

Again, it is unfair to judge a team playing without their best player but it was disheartening to see them totally collapse without Williams on the floor. The start of conference play here was supposed to be “easier” than the middle, but all of that changes without Williams in the lineup. Every game becomes “difficult” and, given their showing against Purdue, I don’t see too many wins in their future without their star big on the court.

I was starting to become optimistic about this team and their season so it’s frustrating for one absence to completely blow everything up. But, that’s the difference between an NCAA Tournament team and Wisconsin: they have quality depth, while the Badgers are still trying to develop theirs. Hopefully Williams is ready to go on Thursday against Nebraska or else Alexis Markowski could score 40.

Next Game: Thursday, Jan. 4; vs. Nebraska Cornhuskers; 8:00 p.m. CT; BTN; Kohl Center

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Drew Hamm is a seasoned sports journalist with an extensive background in covering the Wisconsin Badgers. He has previously held positions as the site manager at Bucky's 5th Quarter and founder of Badgers Ball Knower. Currently, he contributes as a staff writer for