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Wisconsin women’s basketball: UW star Sydney Hilliard to take leave of absence

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Her return is unknown as she is tending to a personal matter.

COLLEGE BASKETBALL: JAN 21 Michigan State at Wisconsin Photo by Lawrence Iles/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Ahead of Thursday night’s game against the No. 21 Iowa Hawkeyes, the Wisconsin Badgers women’s basketball team sent out a press release that said star guard, and second leading scorer, Sydney Hilliard will be taking a leave of absence from the team. Here is the press release in full:

MADISON, Wis. – Sydney Hilliard, a junior guard on the Wisconsin women’s basketball program, is taking a temporary leave of absence from the team to focus on a personal matter. Her return to the team is undetermined at this time.

“Sydney has the support of our entire program while she is away from the team for this period of time,” head coach Marisa Moseley said. “She knows we are all here for her.”

Hilliard has started all 18 games in which she has played this season and is the team’s second-leading scorer (12.8 ppg) and leading rebounder (4.7 rpg).

The Badgers host Iowa Thursday evening at 6:30 and Illinois on Sunday at 1 p.m.

We hope that Hilliard is able to tend to her personal matter and return to the team as soon as she is ready.

The junior guard usually fills up the box score for the Badgers, leading the team in rebounding and steals per game while being second in points and assists per game. She also has the highest eFG% and the best points per play on the team, per Her Hoops Stats.

Freshman guard Krystyna Ellew, who has started six games this year, may be in line for the start against Iowa on Thursday night and Illinois on Saturday. If the Badgers decide to go big, they could start 6-foot-3 Sara Stapleton, which might make the most sense to try and combat Iowa’s 6-foot-3 Monika Czinano, who is averaging 20.8 points per game.