The Wisconsin GLO are gearing up for what may be the biggest regular-season weekend in the team’s brief history.
Wisconsin will welcome the St. Louis Surge to Menominee Nation Arena for a pair of games this weekend in a matchup of the top two teams in the Global Women’s Basketball Association. The two teams will kick off the weekend with a 7 p.m. game on Saturday night, followed by Sunday’s 3 p.m. encounter.
Both teams enter the weekend with 5-1 overall records while St. Louis is 3-0 in league play and Wisconsin is 3-1. That one loss came at the hands of the Surge in an 88-80 defeat earlier this season.
“We hope they remember how that felt,” GLO head coach Lauren Busalacchi said of the loss. “St. Louis is going to be tough. They are going to come in here and try to punch us in the mouth – like they did down there – and we have to be physically and mentally ready for it.”
In that loss, Wisconsin got off to a slow start in the opening quarter, allowing the Surge to put up 30 points and take as much as a 13-point lead in the period. The GLO chipped away at the deficit throughout the game and even took the lead in the fourth quarter but were not able to hold off St. Louis.
Wisconsin did bounce back the following night for a 103-82 win over the Surge.
Getting off to slow starts has plagued Wisconsin at times this season – the GLO trailed the Detroit Queens 29-17 after the first quarter of their most recent game – and changing that trend will be a focus of the GLO this weekend.
“It’s really important that we come in ready to play,” Busalacchi said. “We’ve got another opportunity to start better than what we have started the past few first quarters.”
Wisconsin used a big fourth quarter to rally for the win over the Queens and then got a unique final tune-up for this weekend last Sunday.
When the scheduled opponent Chicago Breeze had travel issues and were unable to make it to Oshkosh, the team still took the floor for a high-scoring intrasquad scrimmage. It was one of the few instances the team had a chance to be on a court together outside of a game and it proved to be a beneficial experience.
“Any chance we get to mix up the rotations helps us,” first-year post player Jessica Kelliher said. “Even in games, you may only play with certain players. So to mix that up and get an extended period of time where we are able to play together and get more comfortable with each other was great.”