Washington (2-3) returns to Alaska Airlines Arena to face Wisconsin (6-3) on Friday but will be without freshman Chantel Osahor due to a stress fracture injury in her right leg. She did not practice this week, wearing a walking boot on the sideline.
The low-post threat had a good debut in two games in Texas after missing the team’s opening three games due to a shoulder injury. Osahor, a 6 foot 3 post from Phoenix, had her best game in the loss at then-No. 23 Texas A&M (6-2), using a three-point play and made three-pointer to help UW slim its deficit to three points late in the second half.
“She shoots those scud missiles,” A&M coach Gary Blair told UW coach Mike Neighbors of Osahor’s flatfooted three-pointers that twice drained through the net in her 17 minutes of play. Osahor finished with nine points in the 74-68 loss.
But a stress fracture in her right leg could keep Osahor out for the season. Osahor is officially listed as day-to-day and will not play in the weekend’s games against Wisconsin and Montana State (4-2) on Sunday. Neighbors is contemplating redshirting the freshman as the severity of the injury continues to be evaluated.
“It’s kind of a precautionary thing,” Neighbors said of Osahor. “It could break. We’ll see how the rehab goes (but) you’re getting now to where do you use a redshirt? I don’t know. We’ll see how it goes. But she played great…I hate all injuries but that one really gave me a pit in my stomach when I got the text that said it’s a pretty severe stress fracture.”
Osahor was pegged to add depth in the post. She plays strong on the glass and her shooting range is an asset. Without Osahor, Neighbors could be forced to play lithe G/F Heather Corral, 6-1, at center in foul trouble situations. Freshman reserve C Katie Collier, 6-3, has had the most trouble this season. She’s averaging a team-high 3.4 fouls in the opening five games and has fouled out once.
Washington defeated Wisconsin 60-55 on the road last season. The win sparked a four-game win streak overall. G Jazmine Davis led with 22 points in the win while F Aminah Williams had 13 rebounds.
The Badgers returned majority of its players and is led by senior G Taylor Wurtz, who’s averaging 15 points and 7.4 rebounds. Redshirt junior Michala Johnson, a 6-3 post who transferred from UConn, is averaging 13.9 points and a team-high 8.4 rebounds in her first season of eligibility at Wisconsin.
Wisconsin suffered its first home loss on Tuesday, 70-55, to No. 23 Gonzaga (8-1).
“Last year, it was a tough game,” Washington senior G Mercedes Wetmore said of the Wisconsin road trip. “I know we attacked really hard against them and the biggest thing is we just found a way to win. Them coming here, they’re definitely going to be one of the toughest teams that we’ve matched up with. They have a great low-post down inside and shooters all around. It will be a game of finding ways to win and doing what we do. That’s what we’re focusing on right now.”