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New-look Badgers rout Warriors

first_imgGREGORY DIXON/Herald photoWhen a team shoots 50 percent from the field and forces 34 turnovers on defense, it’s pretty hard to lose.That’s what happened Sunday afternoon as the University of Wisconsin’s women’s basketball team crushed Division II opponent Winona State 87-37 at the Kohl Center. The win ended the Badgers’ short-lived preseason, in which they finished a perfect 2-0.The Badgers dominated all facets of the game. They jumped out to an early 12-8 lead, followed by a 24-0 run that lasted just under 10 minutes. Winona State guard Shelby Krueger broke up the scoring drought with a pair of free throws. The Warriors didn’t hit a field goal for another four minutes.Badgers forward Danielle Ward had a game-high 21 points while shooting 9-of-11 from the field. She also chipped in on the glass with eight rebounds.Ward was not the only Badger post player to put up impressive numbers Sunday. Caitlin Gibson, Brittany Heins, and Mariah Dunham had 12, 11, and eight points respectively.”The post play has arrived,” UW head coach Lisa Stone said excitedly. “When you have [three] post players in double figures, that’s great.””[Danielle] is a quick, unbelievably fast, athletic post, and I’m more of a big, ‘sit on the block, muscle my way around’-type of post,” Gibson said.This tandem, along with Heins coming off the bench, should be a lethal combination throughout the season.Stone did say she will entertain the idea of putting all three on the court at the same time.Preseason Big Ten Player of the Year Jolene Anderson had a modest eight points, but added six assists in only 24 minutes.”Jolene was very unselfish today and did a great job sharing the ball,” Stone said.Freshman Rae Lin D’Alie played well both offensively (6 points, 3 assists) and defensively (2 steals) in a starting role.The 5-foot-3 point guard applied intense on-ball pressure all game long, forcing countless Warrior turnovers, which is why Stone inserted her in the starting lineup before Thursday’s first preseason game.D’Alie is one of many impressive newcomers on this Badger squad, but the team’s depth is making it hard for Stone to solidify a consistent rotation.”I like our starting lineup right now,” Stone said. “It may be the same, and it may change.”Though a 50-point blowout can lift a team’s confidence, Stone knows her team has a lot of work to do, especially from the free-throw line, where they shot just 60 percent.However, Stone was not the only coach impressed with the Badgers’ play on Sunday. Warriors head coach Scott Ballard had no answers for the onslaught of cardinal and white.”I thought [the Badgers’] depth is probably better than a lot of people might think,” he said.Along with forcing 34 turnovers, the Badger defense compiled 19 steals and two blocks, while allowing the Warriors to grab only eight offensive rebounds.”We really focused on ball pressure and just denying reversal passes,” Gibson added. “That was really crucial for our defense. That’s how we’re going to break teams down.”Despite being on the losing end of such a lopsided score, Ballard sees some positives from the trip to Madison.”It was a great experience to come to the Kohl Center [and play in a] hostile environment,” he said.last_img read more

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Student startup turns vegetable oil into renewable fuels and biodegradable plastics

first_imgPostdoctoral fellow Zhiyao Lu said the most reliable drive for economicgrowth is technology. Lu believes ground-shaking technology can stem from traditional research. (Photo from USC News)Postdoctoral student Zhiyao Lu leads Catapower, a startup that designed a molecular robot to turn vegetable oil into renewable fuels and biodegradable plastic. This year, Lu earned the top 2018 Wrigley Sustainability Prize in an annual competition that promotes eco-friendly business concepts. From that, Catapower was selected for the National Science Foundation Innovation Corps program, which aims to foster national innovation beyond the laboratory. The I-Corps program has provided Lu’s team with training on technology commercialization, as well as providing research and development funds. “Our idea at the time was to turn this waste into a biodegradable plastic to replace the plastic currently in the market,” Lu said. As chemists, Lu’s team wanted to tackle the rise of greenhouse gases and the filling of plastic waste in the ocean. The team began to research biofuels and realized that the largest issue was the excessive waste generated during manufacturing.To combat the issue, they considered biodegradable plastic, which decomposes naturally in the environment through living organisms such as bacteria. Lu’s team wanted to make an impact in the society, and to do so, they decided to commercialize the new technology in July 2017. “When I first started the research, I purely looked at it as an academic research problem,” Lu said. “Then, I realized there is great market potential and I wanted to know what people think of the technology, what customers really need.”Lu said that commercialization has been a complex process. He said that it has become difficult to get companies to accommodate the new technology.“To effect change in this industry, we have to be able to convince people to think differently,” Lu said. Catapower plans to expand its business by helping manufacturers implement their technology on a larger scale, recruiting more customers and helping non-biofuel industries such as the wax and cosmetic industries, which deal with products from vegetable oil. “If people don’t think we can make the ground-shaking technology in the traditional research areas, then they’re wrong,” Lu said. “I think the future direction for the company is not only to scale up the technology we have now  but also to advance more clean technologies to make the world a better place, to preserve the environment and to improve the quality of life.”last_img read more

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