February 3, 2022 

Sydney Hilliard to take a temporary leave of absence from Wisconsin basketball

'Sydney has the support of our entire program while she is away from the team for this period of time,' head coach Marisa Mosely said

Wisconsin guard Sydney Hilliard is taking a temporary leave of absence from the team to focus on a personal matter. The team announced in a release on Feb. 3, before the tipoff of their game against No. 21 Iowa. The timeline for her return to the team is currently undetermined.

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“Sydney has the support of our entire program while she is away from the team for this period of time,” head coach Marisa Mosely said in the release. “She knows we are all here for her.”

Hilliard is second on the team in scoring, averaging 12.8 points per game, only behind Julie Pospisilova. In addition, she is the Badgers’ leading rebounder, averaging 4.7 rebounds per game, a complete rebound ahead of her closest teammates. 

The junior has started every game she’s played over her past two seasons and missed two games already this year. In those two games, Wisconsin went 0-2, losing 63-53 to Green Bay at home on Dec. 12 and 68-47 to Illinois on the road on Jan. 9. The Badgers will need to replace Hilliard’s 33.8 minutes per game, which is third-highest on the team this season.

Losing Hilliard is a big blow for a struggling Wisconsin team that’s won just five games this season and is 2-8 so far in Big Ten play. The Badgers averaged 57.7 points per game and 30.3 rebounds per game and currently sit in 12th in the Big Ten standings, ahead of only Illinois and Rutgers.

The shorthanded Badgers’ next matchups are Feb. 3 against No. 21 Iowa at home and Feb. 6 against an Illinois team that beat Wisconsin previously without Hilliard for their only conference win at home. After that, the Badgers go on the road to face No. 17 Maryland and then face off against Purdue and Michigan State at home. 

Written by Gabriela Carroll

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