first_imgFreshmen formidable in openerTheBadger freshmen, coming off a strong exhibition season, got their chance tounveil themselves at the collegiate level Friday. Although exhibition starsAlyssa Karel and Lin Zastrow didn’t fill out the stat sheet, Tara Steinbauerposted nine points and eight rebounds to go along with two assists.At itwas their first real game and first game away from the Kohl Center, nervousjitters were expected from the Badger youth.”I don’t think they were nervous. [Playing on the road] is just different,”Stone said. “Tara really stepped out, and it was a game for her to shine. Shegot on the glass, she has great hands, and she can finish inside.”Asidefrom playing in front of a small and opposing crowd, Zastrow and Karel had tobecome accustomed to playing different roles. Zastrow was forced to the outsidedue to the size matchups, while Karel had to share the court with startingguard Rae Lin D’Alie.”Alyssaended up in a position she’s not familiar with at the end of the game,” Stonesaid. “I liked having Rae Lin and Alyssa on the floor at the same time.”Theversatility of these up-and-coming Badger stars will prove vital to the teamthe remainder of this young season and come mid-March.”Theyare the first players off the bench, [and] they give us a lot of options,”Stone said about the freshmen. “I’m very excited about our freshman class.” Thewomen’s basketball team traveled to Cleveland Friday, earning a season-openingroad victory over host Cleveland State, 82-62. Senior guard Jolene Andersoncontinued to shine, posting a career-high 37 points, third all-time for asingle game in UW history.Althoughthe final score was a wide margin, the game was close throughout. CSU was downonly three with six minutes remaining until UW went on a raging 21-4 run toclose out the game. The atmosphere was quite different than the Badgers wereused to as they played in front of hundreds — instead of thousands — of fans,the most notable of whom was Wisconsin football alumnus and current ClevelandBrown Joe Thomas.”Wedemonstrated a lot of character on the road in a tough environment — not a lotof people were there,” head coach Lisa Stone said regarding what most impressedher about Friday’s game. “Going against a team under the radar, [and] fiveplayers from Wisconsin, [CSU] was really inspired to play us.”TheVikings posted a defiant test for the Badgers, offering a different look thanthe team was used to seeing. CSU played five guards for most periods during thegame. These size differences and variable skill sets posed a serious matchupproblem for the formidable Badger forwards and centers, ultimately reducingtheir playing time.”We hadto go small,” Stone said. “[It was] more a game for Tara Steinbauer andBrittany Heins, coming off the bench.”Anderson’sperformance undoubtedly was the difference in the game. Her performances todate have earned her national recognition as she has been nominated for the2007-08 Women’s Wooden Award.”Thelast seven minutes of the game we played very well, and Jolene put the team onher back, no question,” Stone said. “She got some things done for us, and I wasvery encouraged by that.” Plenty of time to improve beforenext gameWisconsinwill next face off against Marquette this Saturday, giving the team anunprecedented week off from game play. With some extra time off, the goal is totie up the loose ends and perfect each individual aspect of the game.”[Coming]off the exhibition season and the first one on the road, this week to preparefor Marquette is necessary,” Stone said about the timing of this early break.”It’s nice to go back on some things, and in terms of teaching, to get back towork defensively.”Comingoff a fairly solid statistical performance, winning by 20 and only turning theball over 13 times, the question is where the focus will be aimed in practice.There are some things that cannot be taught on the practice floor, such aspoise and mentality late in close games.”Defensively,we need to work on our on-ball defense, something that I think every coach inAmerica is addressing,” Stone said. “[We] need to develop a mentality on theroad.”Whilethe rest of the Big Ten teams plays their third or fourth game this week, theBadgers will be content knowing they are getting better.”We needto work on our individual needs as far as our team defense,” Stone said. “Ithink it’s a great week for us to watch film, learn and grow together.”last_img