The Marisa Moseley era is officially underway in Madison. The women’s basketball season tipped off on Wednesday night at the Kohl Center and the Wisconsin Badgers (1-0 overall, 0-0 Big Ten) took care of business, defeating St. Thomas (0-1 overall, 0-0 Summit League) by a score of 67-51, earning Moseley the first win of her Badger career.
It was truly a two-woman show for the Badgers. Wisconsin was led by true freshman guard Krystyna Ellew, and let me tell you...if tonight was any indication of the type of player she is, the Badgers struck gold.
In her collegiate debut, Ellew scored 29 points on 9-of-15 shooting, 3-of-5 from behind the arc and was a perfect 8-of-8 from the free throw line. Additionally, she added five rebounds, a steal and a block.
“I thought she played incredibly well. She has shown since she got here her incredible knack for scoring. We saw tonight she scores in a lot of different ways, she finds her way to the basket, she’s not afraid to get physical especially as a freshman,” Moseley noted.
The second half of the two-woman show? Sydney Hilliard. The junior guard tallied 17 points, six rebounds and three assists. Outside of Ellew and Hilliard, the Badgers did not have a double digit scorer and only received seven points from the rest of the starting lineup.
This game was won in the second quarter which was dominated by Krystyna Ellew. The Badgers outscored St. Thomas 24-11 in the quarter thanks to 15 points from Ellew including all three of her three pointers.
“Once I took the first few shots, I started feeling it and I knew I could score. I was just trying to stay confident out there and staying aggressive,” Ellew said.
Outside of the second quarter, this game was incredibly evenly paced. Despite the 13 point margin in the second, the Badgers only outscored St. Thomas by one point in each of the other three quarters.
As a team, the Badgers shot 44.6% from the field and 92.3% from the free throw line.
Any way you look at it, a win in the season opener is incredibly important for a team that went 5-19 last season and has a new head coach. We’ll see what Moseley can do with this group as the season gets into full swing.
“To start off the season with new staff, new team, new system, all those things, and to come out on top and to only have 11 turnovers, I am very proud of our team,” Moseley said after her first win in Madison.
Some other notable stat lines for the Badgers:
- Senior Alex Luehring had seven points to go along with three rebounds and two assists.
- Graduate transfer Katie Nelson filled up the stat sheet with four steals, four assists, three rebounds and six points.
Next up for the Badgers is the New Jersey Institute of Technology who comes to Madison this Sunday for a 1 p.m. CT tip-off.