Injuries taking toll on regular starters Bakke, Josephson, Banks in weekend’s blunders

first_imgThe Wisconsin Badgers’ women’s basketball team was really hurting this weekend.Not just in their inability to top off non-conference opponents in Marquette or Notre Dame, or in their shooting woes Friday as they only managed to shoot 31.4 percent from the floor.But also with a number of injuries taking a toll on head coach Lisa Stone’s roster as three regular starters are listed as day-to-day.Forward Kjersten Bakke did not suit up for Sunday’s game versus Notre Dame, due to a tweaked right knee.Guard Ashley Josephson sat out Friday’s game versus Marquette with a left hip injury that was still nagging her from the Rainbow Tournament in Hawaii, but managed to play against Notre Dame.Guard Janese Banks suffered a left eye injury during the Marquette game, and while she did start versus Notre Dame, she was forced to don the patented Horace Grant protective glasses.Even though the Badgers are banged up, the team was able to fight through the injuries and give the No. 11 Notre Dame Fighting Irish a run for their money Sunday.”I can’t say enough about our players from the standpoint of us being banged up and so forth,” Stone said. “With potentially three starters being out before the game started, our team didn’t flinch. They’re very excited; they really believed they could win today.”While Banks would make no excuses for the Badgers’ two losses on the weekend, she did admit that her bruised left eye was still affecting her Sunday and that she had some problems getting used to the new protective glasses.”Honestly, I did have a little headache out there,” she said. “I just tried to give all I had. There were some things the trainers wanted to look out for me for, they tried to keep telling me to stay off the floor, but it’s kind of hard when you’re in the game to focus on not taking charges, not diving after loose balls and stuff like that. [There] was a little pain, but nothing major.”With Bakke out and Josephson still playing with a sore left hip, Stone turned to sophomore guard Shari’ Welton (sophomore guard Akiya Alexander started Friday) and freshman forward/center Caitlin Gibson in the starting lineup.Despite starting her first career game, Gibson showed no nervousness whatsoever as the Badgers looked to her to provide a post presence against a tall Irish team.”She had the look of a tiger on her face,” Stone said of Gibson making her first start. “She went after it and I thought she was superb inside.”Gibson scored 12 points on 6-of-10 shooting and grabbed five rebounds Sunday — a performance that gives her more confidence heading into the Big Ten season.”Just getting on the court helps my confidence a lot,” Gibson said. “I really didn’t want to think about that it was Notre Dame, they were ranked, or anything. I just wanted to go out there and play the best I could because I know I was going against a big girl (in 6-foot-5 Melissa D’Amico) and I enjoyed it.”The best example of the Badgers fighting through their injuries, however, was Josephson herself.Still feeling the affects from the hip injury she sustained a couple of weeks ago, the senior played through the pain and kept Wisconsin in Sunday’s game with her timely deep range shooting.”It was nice to have Ashley Josephson back,” Stone said. “She hit some big shots … she was instrumental in breaking [our 3-point shooting] free.”While head coach Lisa Stone will hope for the best as Josephson and Banks continue to play through the pain and Bakke is expected to return next week, at least she now knows that the injuries don’t hurt the team too much.last_img

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