Badger women roll past Mavericks in home-opening exhibition game - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Badger women roll past Mavericks in home-opening exhibition game

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MADISON, Wis. – The Wisconsin women’s basketball team rolled past the Minnesota State Mavericks on Sunday in an 84-48 home-opening exhibition game at the Kohl Center. Senior Tessa Cichy led all players with 22 points, while fellow senior Dakota Whyte was close behind with 20.

Junior Avyanna Young made her Badger debut after sitting out last season due to transfer rules by recording a double-double with 15 points and 15 rebounds. Senior Nicole Bauman also scored in double-digits for the Badgers, as she tallied 11 points in the game.

Freshman Marsha Howard had an impressive freshman debut, as she tallied seven points and 11 rebounds.

Nice game for us today, we are very happy about the outcome obviously,” Wisconsin head coach Bobbie Kelsey said. “You always want to win your exhibition games, you always want to get everybody in. You want everybody to get out without getting hurt, that’s a big thing.

“This was a scrappy team. They really scrapped and gave us a run for our money, but I was very happy about the rebounding situation, the four or five people in double figures, that’s always nice to see. Just getting everybody out there and seeing what they can do so we’re very happy about that.”

The Badgers won the starting tip and got on the board first to remain ahead of the Mavericks for the remainder of the game. Wisconsin led for a total of 38 minutes and nine seconds, while the game was tied for only 1:51 at the beginning.

The Badgers got their offensive momentum moving with a quartet of free throws from Young and Bauman to start the game. Young and Bauman each made two apiece.

The game stayed relatively close throughout the majority of the first quarter, until the Badgers pulled ahead thanks to a three-point play from Cichy. The senior guard spun around a defender to put the ball up for two, while drawing the and-one foul from MSU. She sunk the free throw to put the Badgers ahead, 10-3.

Wisconsin held Mankato to only nine points in the first quarter, as they were able to notch 20 to head into the second.

MSU got the game going in the second quarter with a three-point basket, but a blocked shot by Bauman quickly turned the momentum around and Young answered back with a layup.

The Badgers continued the defensive effort as they shut down the following Maverick scoring drive and found Bauman outside the arc. She nailed the three-point shot, giving Wisconsin a 25-12 lead.

McMorris sank a 3-point basket of her own following a three-point play from the Mavericks. Cichy also contributed a five-point run in the second quarter after she hit both a 3-point basket and a quick jump shot to increase the Badgers’ lead to 35-20.

Finishing out the second quarter, the Badgers put in a few lay ups to bring the score to 43-22 at halftime.

The third quarter proved successful for the Badgers, as the team went on a 15-point run to lead the Mavericks, 58-26 in the middle of the quarter. The run was the longest point-streak of the game.

The streak was ended by a 2-point basket from MSU, but the Badgers quickly answered back with a nine-point run to end the quarter with the score at 67-26.

The Mavericks began the fourth quarter with a quick four-point scoring run, but it was ended by an and-one play by Young.

The momentum went back and forth as the time winded down, but Minnesota State’s three 3-pointers in the quarter weren’t enough to close the gap. The Badgers ended the game with a 2-point basket from McMorris and a final score of 84-48.

Leading scorer Cichy attributed the team chemistry for a powerful season-opening performance today.

“I think it was better than I expected but we performed as well as we have been in practice,” Cichy said. “There are things to work on like Coach Bobbie said but I think for our first showing we did pretty well, I mean we’re in shape so that’s always a positive.”

The Badgers return to the Kohl Center on Wednesday when they host UW-Eau Claire. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. (CT).

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