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Lady Badgers keep ‘fresh’ focus

first_imgOne of the reasons for the University of Wisconsin women’s basketball team’s recent success during its three-game winning streak has been the improved play of freshmen Mariah Dunham and Rae Lin D’Alie.Dunham, a forward from Watertown, is averaging seven points per game this season, but in Sunday’s victory she stepped up by contributing 11 points and five rebounds.”Mariah Dunham played great,” UW head coach Lisa Stone said. “She embraced the crowd. That’s all Mariah right there. You put a stage out there for her and she’s going to perform.”D’Alie, a point guard from Waterford, also put together a solid campaign against the Gophers, tallying 14 points. Yet, Stone feels it is not so much D’Alie’s scoring but her leadership and ability to distribute the ball that has propelled the team to its current record.”Rae Lin D’Alie has surpassed everybody’s expectations, not only scoring but delivering the basketball,” Stone said. “She’s learned how to get into the point of no return with the (post players) and handle some things.”Mind Trip: maintaining focus on the roadA day after beating border-rival Minnesota in front of a record crowd at the Kohl Center Sunday, Stone said her team must stay levelheaded and shift its focus to the upcoming road games.On Thursday, the Badgers will travel to Indiana to take on the Hoosiers, and Sunday they’ll be in Happy Valley to face the Lady Lions of Penn State.The women’s team has historically had trouble at these two venues, but Stone hopes to change that by keeping the momentum rolling from Sunday’s game.”It’s a new year, and the past is the past,” Stone said. “Any game in the Big Ten on the road is a tough place to play.”You can go back to the past, and we’ve not had success in those two venues, or you can look at this as an opportunity to start something new for us.”Winning ways don’t change focusSunday’s win guaranteed the Badgers a winning record this season, marking the first time Stone has achieved that mark since joining the team in 2003. Although the play of her squad has some people buzzing about potential postseason tournament play, Stone continues to take the season one game at a time.”We don’t talk about [the postseason] at all,” Stone said. “I think a lot of people around us do. … If you get too caught up in that, you’re going to miss what’s happening right in front of you.”Right in front of us right now is a great team.”Even after the exhilarating game Sunday, the Badgers remained focused and relatively subdued, knowing that they still have work ahead of them.”As we go into the next step of the Big Ten, I think that there’s more of a chip on their shoulder, more energy in terms of where we want to go yet this season,” Stone said. “Certainly, we have some momentum right now, we’re excited about where we’re at, and in the end, hopefully, the postseason is what looms for us.”last_img read more

Motorsport: Bianchi still critical

first_imgPhilippe Bianchi says Jules’ situation is “desperate” after he suffered severe head injuries in a crash at the Japanese Grand Prix nine days ago, and admits it’s a “miracle” he’s still alive.Marussia’s Bianchi underwent surgery when he got to hospital, but remains in a critical condition.last_img