Badgers Pull Away From Panthers In Second Half
Nov. 11, 2012
MADISON, Wis. - Sophomore Ashley Green led the way with a career-high 19 points but the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee women's basketball team could not overcome cold shooting from the floor in the second half in a 74-56 loss to the University of Wisconsin Sunday evening at the Kohl Center.
The Panthers (1-1) led the Badgers (1-0) by as many as eight points in the first half, but shot just 32 percent after intermission to allow Wisconsin to pull away.
"It was our second game in three days and I thought our team came out extremely strong at the start," UWM head coach Kyle Rechlicz said. "We hit some really tough shots and put them on their heels. This is definitely a building step for us. I told the team in the locker room that this does not define who we are, it's just a game on the path to where we are trying to get to."
"I am proud of my team," Rechlicz said. "I told them not to hang their heads and to walk off the court with dignity. Wisconsin has gotten a lot better and they have proven that they are ready to compete in the Big Ten."
The game went back and forth from the start, featuring three ties and seven lead changes in the first 20 minutes, with the Badgers taking a 37-33 lead at the half.
Anna Wurtz scored 13 of her team-high 16 points in the second half, helping Wisconsin to a quick 7-0 run following intermission to go up by 11 at 44-33. That capped 11 points in a row going back to the first with Wurtz finding the range by making four of the first five shots in the second.
"Wisconsin came out really strong and fresh," Rechlicz said. "She definitely has the girls playing exceptionally hard right now and you can tell that the freshmen have really stepped in and given them a huge lift at the guard position."
The Panthers hung within 10 and had the lead back down to seven, but another seven points in a row gave UW a 64-47 advantage with just under seven to play and UWM would get no closer.
The Badgers closed out the final seven-plus minutes of the first half by scoring 20 of the final 29 points. The Panthers rode a hot start from three-point range - making five of their first seven tries - and used a 10-2 run to push their lead to seven at 24-17 on a three by Green. Another triple by Rodriguez on the next possession made it 27-19 and gave UWM its largest lead of the half.
But, Wisconsin responded at that point, using second-chance points to turn the momentum of the contest. It converted 12 first-half offensive rebounds into 13 points and used a key 8-0 scoring run to tie the game at 31-31 at the 3:56 mark.
Up next, the Panthers open the home portion of the 2012-13 campaign Wednesday, welcoming Western Michigan to the Klotsche Center for a 7 p.m. tip off.