Panther Rally Falls Short In 75-73 Loss To Butler
Traci Edwards

Traci Edwards

Box Score |  Notes

MILWAUKEE, Wis. (Feb. 14, 2008) - The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee women's basketball team shot 61.3 percent in the second half and hit on 7-of-11 three pointers in cutting a 22-point deficit to one, but it was not enough as the Panthers fell to Butler, 75-73, Thursday night at the Klotsche Center.

Milwaukee (12-11, 7-5 Horizon) trailed 44-22 at halftime, but pulled within one at 72-71 with 44 seconds remaining. Butler (16-7, 6-6 Horizon) converted 2-of-4 free throws from that point to hold on.

"It's disappointing to lose here at home, but we fought back and didn't give up," UWM head coach Sandy Botham said. "We just have to put 40 minutes together. That's their challenge. We've got a young team, starting three freshmen and two juniors, and consistency doesn't always happen."

Junior Traci Edwards scored 19 points, pulled down 10 rebounds and blocked three shots to lead UWM. Freshman Maurika Hickman scored 13 points, hitting three 3-pointers, and freshman Lindsay Laur added 10.

Susan Lester paced the Bulldogs with 23 points and 12 rebounds, while Lade Akande added 22 points.

The Panthers scored the first eight points of the second half to begin their comeback and steadily chipped away at the deficit throughout the half. Edwards hit a pair of free throws with 44 seconds remaining to make it a one-point game at 72-71.

"Even getting down big, we knew we could still make the comeback--it was within out reach," Botham said. "We're a team that hasn't been able to put two halves together. We had a slow start and Butler was hot."

Tara Miller then converted a free throw, but missed the second. Hickman pulled down the rebound setting up a chance to tie or take the lead. Junior Emily Markert then saw a deep jumper from the corner fall short with 11 seconds on the clock. Azjah Bass got the rebound for BU and, after a foul, hit 1-of-2 free throws to make it a two-possession game.



"We ran a play for Emily," Botham said. "She had a good look, but it just came up short."

Senior Aubri Rote hit a jumper with 1.5 seconds, but could not foul before time expired.

With its strong second half, Milwaukee finished the game shooting 48.2 percent from the field and 47.6 percent from three-point range. The Panthers were hampered by 22 turnovers, which led to 24 Butler points. UWM also gained a slight rebounding average, 36-35.

The Bulldogs jumped out to a commanding lead in the first half thanks to a 29-7 run to end the frame. Milwaukee remained closed throughout the early goings, tying the game at 15-15 on a three-pointer from senior Aubri Rote.

Akande and Lester then went to work. Akande scored nine-straight points to stake Butler to a nine-point lead at 26-17. Lester then scored the team's next 11 points, including three-straight three-pointers. Butler would score the final 13 points of the half to head into the locker room ahead 44-22.

Milwaukee was held to just 32 percent shooting in the opening half and made 14 turnovers. The Bulldogs, on the other hand, shot 51.5 percent in the half, turned the ball over just seven times and held a 21-16 rebounding advantage.

The Panthers return to action Saturday, when Valparaiso comes to the Klotsche Center for a 2 p.m. tip off. Milwaukee will be wearing special pink jerseys as part of the WBCA's "Think Pink" initiative.

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