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OldGoldFreePress COLUMNISTS | BACK TO Steve'S COLUMNS

PURDUE WOMENS BASKETBALL:
Women's Opponents' Profile #17: Wisconsin Badgers, 01/29/04


Lisa Stone's record in turning around programs will be key to the length of her tenure in Madison.


Date: 1/28/2004
Author: Steve
© Old Gold Free Press Columnists

    Welcome to the seventeenth opponent profile for the 2003-2004 season. Each profile will include information about the opponent’s women’s basketball team and a player or coach on the team. Web page addresses will follow each section. Look for a profile on each opponent 1-2 days before the tip-off.

    The Team

    The Badgers enter Thursday's game with an overall record of 8-9, 2-5 in the Big Ten conference. The squad won its previous game, at home against Northwestern. The Badgers have also won against Illinois, while losing to Ohio State, Indiana, Penn State, Michigan, and Iowa.

    Lisa Stone’s team is balanced between experience and youth, with six of the thirteen players being either seniors or juniors. Perhaps the most noticeable thing about the Badger roster is that there is a trio of very tall players: 6’5” Emily Ashbaugh and sisters Lello Gebisa (6’7”) and Ebba Gebisa (6’3”), both from West Lafayette.

    Offensively, Wisconsin hasn’t fared too well in Big Ten play. The team ranks ninth in scoring offense (54.4 ppg), tenth in field goal percentage (35.4%), seventh in free throw percentage (67.4%), and fifth in 3-point percentage (32.6). The team hasn’t taken particularly good care of the ball, either, as it ranks fifth in assist:turnover ratio (.73) and tenth in turnover margin (-2.86). One area in which the Badgers are dominant, however, is offensive rebounding: they rank first in conference games at 15.29 per contest. Ashley Josephson (12.0), Stephanie Rich (11.1), and Ashbaugh (9.7) lead the team in scoring in Big Ten contests.

    Defensively, the Badgers are middle-of-the pack, except for rebounding where they hold a +6.1 rebound per game average in conference games, good for second in the Big Ten. The team ranks last in steals per game, fifth in blocks per game, sixth in 3-point percentage defense, sixth in field goal percentage defense, and seventh in scoring defense.

    The Wisconsin women’s basketball team’s official website can be found at:

    http://uwbadgers.com/sport_news/wbb/headlines/index.aspx

    The Coach

    Lisa Stone is in her first year as the head coach at Wisconsin, arriving in Madison after a three-year stint at Drake where her teams went 64-27. Stone has proven that she has the ability to turn around programs, a talent first seen at Division III Wisconsin-Eau Claire. Stone guided the program to an overall record of 277-59 during her twelve years, an amazing stat considering the program had only had one winning season in its history before her arrival. The team also made eleven appearances in the Division III NCAA Tournament under her guidance.

    Stone knows about Big Ten basketball and the traditions formed by each program; she was a star guard at Iowa during Vivian Stringer’s coaching tenure. Her name (as Lisa Anderson) is still etched in the school’s record books for career scoring (1,129 points, fourteenth), steals (177, t-sixth), assists (322, seventh), and rebounds (331, twenty-third).

    Lisa Stone’s official bio on the Wisconsin website can be found at:

    http://uwbadgers.com/sport_news/wbb/bios/coaches_bio.aspx?bios_id=Stone_Lisa_wbb

    Coach Stone’s thoughts about Purdue and Thursday's game can be found at:

    http://uwbadgers.com/sport_news/wbb/headlines/full_story.aspx?story_id=2004_01_26_16_54_31_wbb

    The Game

    The Badgers have a tall frontcourt, with Ashbaugh and the Gebisas creating a tough triple threat for any conference foe to match. They seemingly control the boards in every Big Ten contest, so the Boilermakers will have to work on their boxing-out technique to grab caroms to end Wisconsin possessions.

    The hottest player on the court for the Badgers, however, may be Ashley Josephson, a 5’8” sophomore who’s averaged around 16 points per game in the previous four contests. She currently ranks eighteenth in scoring in Big Ten contests (12.0 per game), first in free throw percentage (93.3%), and third in 3-point percentage. Coach Stone has already stated that she’s looking to create an inside-out game at Mackey, with her post players passing out of double teams to open shooters. Josephson seems to be on enough of a roll that players in the Old Gold and Black will have to know where she’s positioned on the court at all times.

    The key to the game may be how aggressive the Boilermakers play. Yes, the Badgers have height on their side but the Boilermakers can’t settle only for jump shots all game long: that’s why Minnesota lost in Mackey. Whether it’s Emily and Erin attacking in the post or Shereka slicing her way from the wing, Purdue must stay aggressive when it’s on offense. If the Boilermakers play tentatively, Coach Stone and the Badgers will be thrilled. Better yet, the Boilermakers should be aggressive on defense, as the Badgers seem to be turnover-prone in Big Ten contests. They average sixteen turnovers per game and if the Boilermakers can translate a few steals into lay-ups and force an up-tempo game, the Badger big players may become less of a factor.

    Ashley Josephson’s bio on the Wisconsin website can be found at:

    http://uwbadgers.com/sport_news/wbb/bios/bio.aspx?id=Josephson_Ashley_wbb&sport=wbb

    Emily Ashbaugh’s bio on the Wisconsin website can be found at:

    http://uwbadgers.com/sport_news/wbb/bios/bio.aspx?id=Ashbaugh_Emily_wbb&sport=wbb

    Ebba Gebisa’s bio on the Wisconsin website can be found at:

    http://uwbadgers.com/sport_news/wbb/bios/bio.aspx?id=Gebisa_Ebba_wbb&sport=wbb

    Lello Gebisa’s bio on the Wisconsin website can be found at:

    http://uwbadgers.com/sport_news/wbb/bios/bio.aspx?id=Gebisa(RS)_Lello_wbb&sport=wbb


As news organizations move their stories to an archive, some of the links listed above may become inactive

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