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Maryland women’s basketball vs. Wisconsin preview: Terps return home to face Badgers

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The Terps look primed to improve to 26-1.

NCAA Womens Basketball: Connecticut at Maryland Rafael Suanes-USA TODAY Sports

The Maryland women’s basketball team has only three games left in its regular season. The first of these contests is Wednesday at home against Wisconsin, followed by a monumental road game against Ohio State Monday and a Senior Day matchup with Minnesota on Feb. 26.

Maryland has cruised to this point in the year, posting a 25-1 record. The Terps moved up to No. 2 in Monday’s AP Poll, behind only Connecticut. Senior guard Shatori Walker-Kimbrough was also named Big Ten Player of the Week Monday thanks to 29- and 24-point performances against Illinois and Michigan State last week.

Wisconsin sits at the bottom of the Big Ten, at 1-11 in conference play. The Badgers did pick up a win early in the season against Green Bay, a top-tier mid-major barely on the outskirts of the top 25. However, Wisconsin is for the most part an uninspiring team that Maryland should blow out, especially at home.

Wisconsin Badgers (6-19, 1-11 Big Ten)

2015-16 record: 7-22, 3-15

Head coach: Jonathan Tsipis is in his first season with the Badgers after taking over for Bobbi Kelsey. Tsipis was previously the coach at George Washington for four seasons, going 92-38.

Players to know

Cayla McMorris, junior, guard, 6’0, No. 23. McMorris is Wisconsin’s leading scorer with 12.9 points per game, although she’s just under double digits in Big Ten play. She shoots just 32 percent from the floor and 22 percent from three, but can heat up from time to time.

Avyanna Young, redshirt senior, forward, 6’1, No. 40. The transfer from Milwaukee puts up 10.9 points to go with 7.1 rebounds. She’s been coming off the bench recently, but should still see plenty of time against the Terps’ frontcourt.

Kendra Van Leeuwen, freshman, guard, 5’10, No. 10. Has started all 25 games this season, joining McMorris as the only two Badgers to do so. She’s only seventh on the team with 4.1 points per game, but averages 3.7 assists in nearly 26 minutes.

Strength

Rebounding. Wisconsin’s rebounding margin is plus-4.2 in conference play and plus-3.7 for the season. It’s a group effort, with no one on the team hauling in more than six boards per game in conference play and Young averaging a team-high 7.1 for the year.

Weakness

Shooting. The Badgers have a .379/.316/.625 shooting line, which is not good. They’re 12th out of 14 Big Ten teams in field-goal percentage, 11th in three-point percentage, and 13th in free-throw percentage.

Prediction

Maryland wins, 91-57.