Badgers announce complete 2014-15 women's basketball schedule - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Badgers announce complete 2014-15 women's basketball schedule

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MADISON, Wis. – Home games with Big Ten Conference newcomers Maryland and Rutgers highlight the 2014-15 conference schedule for the Wisconsin women's basketball team, the conference office announced today.

The Badgers will play 18 Big Ten games as the league schedule has increased by two games this season. The 10-game non-conference schedule was released earlier.

Fourth-year head coach Bobbie Kelsey expects the Big Ten to be as challenging and competitive as ever this season.

“With the addition of Maryland and Rutgers, the conference has gotten even stronger in terms of women's basketball,” Kelsey said. “Our ability to compete with teams that have reached the pinnacle of national exposure will only bolster our chances of accomplishing the goal of winning a Big Ten championship as well as reaching the NCAA tournament."

UW will host nine Big Ten games in the Kohl Center, highlighted by matchups against new conference opponents Rutgers, the 2014 WNIT Champions, on Jan. 18 and Maryland, a 2014 NCAA Final Four participant, on Feb. 19.

The Badgers, who finished the 2013-14 campaign 10-19, open Big Ten play at home against Michigan on Dec. 28. Wisconsin opens the New Year when it travels to Northwestern on Jan. 1 for its first conference road trip.

Wisconsin will also host Minnesota (Jan. 4), defending Big Ten champion Penn State (Jan. 6), Nebraska (Jan. 22), Ohio State (Jan. 29) and Iowa (Feb. 8). The Badgers end their home stand against Northwestern on Feb. 22.

UW closes out the regular season on the road at Penn State on March 1. The Big Ten Tournament returns to the Chicago area in 2016 and will be held at the Sears Centre Arena in Hoffman Estates, Illinois, on March 4-8.

“Our program will match up well within the conference as we return a veteran group of players who are extremely motivated to have a great season,” Kelsey said. “We have already built incredible team chemistry over the summer break therefore I am excited to watch this progress transfer onto the court."

Coach Kelsey and her staff return four starters in Michala Johnson, Dakota Whyte, Jacki Gulczynski and Nicole Bauman plus redshirt senior Cassie Rochel, who led the Big Ten in blocks per game in 2012-13. Kelsey also returns 10 letterwinners and adds four newcomers to her squad.

Times and television games will be announced soon.

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