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Wisconsin Badgers Women’s Basketball Routs NIU with Balanced Offense, Stout Defense

The Wisconsin Badgers women’s basketball team took down Northern Illinois with ease thanks to a strong offensive and defensive showing.



Wisconsin Badgers Women’s Basketball
Photo: Courtesy of UW Athletics

The Wisconsin Badgers women’s basketball team returned to Madison for the first time in two weeks and pummeled the Northern Illinois Huskies on Wednesday night at the Kohl Center. Five players scored in double-figures for a balanced UW attack and the defense was really good yet again.

Here is the full recap.

Wisconsin Badgers Women’s Basketball Routs Northern Illinois

Final Score

Wisconsin Badgers (5-2 overall, 0-0 Big Ten): 75
Northern Illinois Huskies (3-4 overall, 0-0 MAC): 54

Four Factors

eFG%: 50.8
Turnover%: 16.4 (!!!)
Off. Rebound%: 16.2
FTA/FGA: 22.2

Key Stats

FG%: 44.4 (28-of-63)
Opp. FG%: 22.9 (16-of-70)
3P%: 32.0 (8-of-25)
Opp. 3P%: 27.5 (11-of-40)
FT%: 78.6 (11-of-14)
Opp. FT%: 91.7 (11-of-12)
Points Per Possession: 1.079
Opponent Points Per Possession: 0.720
Rebounds: 41 (six offensive)
Opponent Rebounds: 48 (17 offensive)
Turnovers: 12
Forced Turnovers: 17


Wisconsin Badgers Women’s Basketball Team Leaders

  • Serah Williams: 16 points (6-of-17 FG, 0-of-2 3P), five rebounds, four blocks, +19
  • D’Yanis Jimenez: 13 points (4-of-4 FG, 3-of-3 3P), four rebounds, six assists, three steals, +9
  • Brooke Schramek: nine points (3-of-6 FG, 2-of-4 3P), eight rebounds (one offensive), six assists, three steals, +14
  • Sania Copeland: 11 points (5-of-11 FG, 1-of-6 3P), four rebounds, two assists, two blocks, three steals, +18

Northern Illinois Team Leaders

  • Jayden Marable: 11 points (4-of-12 FG, 3-of-5 3P), six rebounds, three assists, two steals -20
  • Kortney Drake: 11 points (4-of-11 FG, 3-of-10 3P), four rebounds, one assist, one block, -21

Three Thoughts

1. I am still a little skeptical of Wisconsin’s long-term defensive outlook this year, but you cannot argue with their results so far. UW held the Huskies to a dreadful 22.9% shooting from the field and also forced 17 turnovers. This isn’t a one-off development either, as the Badgers have held five of their seven opponents under 40% shooting and two under 30%.

NIU only made five of their 30 attempts (16.7%) inside the three-point arc on Wednesday night which is, quite honestly, an unfathomably bad performance. The Badgers possess an above average opp. FG% inside the arc in every zone outside of the short right baseline. Their opp. FG% at the rim of 49.4% is 7.6% BELOW the NCAA average. That’s pretty dang good!

Serah Williams (leading the Big Ten with 20 blocks) has done a nice job as a rim protector, blocking an excellent 11.6% of the shots attempted while she’s on the court, but there is no one else on the roster above 2.0% in that category. If Williams is in foul trouble or just needs a breather, Wisconsin’s interior defense suffers. One of the other things I’m worried about is the fact that UW allows opponents to attempt so many three-pointers.

Their opponent’s three-pointer rate is 37.0% (340th in the nation) this year and they’ve allowed two of their last three opponents to attempt 40+ long range shots. While neither team (Arkansas or NIU) shot them well…I’d feel better if the Badgers were denying more of those shots and running teams off the three-point line and into the paint where Williams is often waiting.

2. Wisconsin’s offense has been very balanced all season. Against NIU, five players scored in double figures and one other scored nine. On the season, the Badgers have four players averaging double digits and one other averaging 9.9 points per game. On a team with no surefire First-Team All-B1G players it is absolutely necessary for multiple people to be able to score on any given night.

Williams and D’Yanis Jimenez each scored 10 points in the first half while Natalie Leuzinger chipped in eight. In the second half, Williams and Brooke Schramek each had six points while Ronnie Porter and Sania Copeland each contributed five. The Badgers also had 20 assists on 28 made baskets and their season-long assisted shot rate of 66.1% is 26th best in the country.
This team is sharing the ball, looking for the best shot, and not caring who ends up taking it. It is really pleasant basketball to watch and I’m sure the coaches are over the moon about how the team is playing unselfishly.

3. After not playing at all in the previous game (for still unknown reasons as far as I can tell), Jimenez was back in the lineup for UW against the Huskies and played an excellent 27 minutes off the bench. Not only did she shoot perfectly (4-of-4 FG, 3-of-3 3P, 2-of-2 FT) but she filled up the box score in just about every other area as well.

She hauled in four boards, dished out six assists, and picked up three steals as well. In what has to be considered a great success for any player on the team, she also only turned it over twice. I also saw her diving on the floor for loose balls and generally looking like a player that was prepared to win this game no matter what.

Back before the season started I assumed that Imbie Jones would be the most impactful freshman (due to her size and skillset) but Jimenez has been a revelation and is cementing herself as a key player for the Badgers moving forward.

4. BONUS THOUGHT: THE WISCONSIN BADGERS WOMEN’S BASKETBALL TEAM ONLY HAD 12 TURNOVERS IN THIS GAME!!!! That is their lowest number of the season (by four) and tied for their fourth lowest in a game during Marisa Moseley’s tenure (if my quick statistical search is correct). Love this for them and I hope it’s a trend that continues.

5. BONUS THOUGHT 2: Former Badger, and Wisconsin native, Tara Stauffacher returned to Madison with NIU and scored five points (1-of-9 FG, 1-of-7 3P), grabbed eight boards, had two assists, three turnovers, and was a game-worst -21 in 26 minutes played.


Final Thoughts on the Wisconsin Badgers Women’s Basketball Win over Northern Illinois

This was a fun game for the Badgers. Following an absolutely scorching 16-0 run in the second quarter, which pushed their lead to 20, Wisconsin’s margin only dipped below 20 (and never lower than 18) twice for the rest of the game. Neither of those times were in the second half either. UW opened the second half on a 10-3 run and the rest of the game was spent on cruise control. Hell, even with Moseley emptying the bench in the fourth quarter, which led to UW not scoring over the final 3:06 of the game, the Badgers STILL won by 21 points.

Now, it’s best not to get too cocky since NIU was only projected to finish 5th in the MAC this year and didn’t have a player on the preseason First or Second All-MAC teams, but this game wouldn’t have been a blowout win last year. I mean…it might even have been a loss if we’re keeping it 50 times 2 (that’s 100 for you math majors out there).

Moseley mentioned that Halle Douglass and Lily Krahn (neither of whom have played yet this year) might be able to return on Sunday, which will further boost this team as we enter Big Ten play. Sitting at 5-2, with three of their next four games at home and three of those next four games being winnable, the Badgers are in a good spot.

If you’re able you should try and get a ticket to the game on Sunday against Butler. I’m hearing tickets for the Iowa game are hard to come by, but the team could use all of your support against the Bulldogs as they try to push their winning streak to three ahead of Caitlin Clark and Co. coming to town.

Next Game: Sunday, Dec. 3; vs. Butler; 12:00 p.m. CT; B1G+; 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