Long-Distance Effort Sends Panthers To Victory Over Broncos
Nov. 14, 2012
MILWAUKEE - Sophomore Ashley Green set career-highs with 20 points and 14 rebounds and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee women's basketball team made 13 three-pointers in an 88-79 victory over Western Michigan University Wednesday evening at the Klotsche Center.
The Panthers (2-1) led the Broncos (1-1) by as many as 12 in the first half, but saw that lead trimmed down to two with just over three minutes remaining. But, a 7-0 run gave Milwaukee back the momentum and it went on to score 13 of the final 19 points to secure the victory in the home opener for head coach Kyle Rechlicz.
"I definitely think we have some great leaders on the floor," Rechlicz said. "Towards the end of the game we had our two seniors out there leading the group. Angela Rodriguez has seen a lot of minutes in her career and Ashley Green really stepped up again tonight. This is two games in a row where she is proving that she is a force to be reckoned with."
In addition to Green's double-double, senior Sami Tucker had 18 points and eight rebounds, junior Emily Decorah netted 15 on five three-pointers, senior Sammy Theut had 11 and junior Angela Rodriguez finished with 10.
The Panthers ended the night 13-for-18 from three-point range, with the 72.2 percent the second-highest in school history for a game (78.6 against Central Michigan in 2000). The 13 3's were also just off the program record of 15 in a game.
"We had it going tonight," Rechlicz said. "The reason we were able to get so many three's was our aggressive attack to the basket. I think we are a great three-point shooting team. I have told our team that I don't mind us taking 20-25 three's a game because sometimes I feel like that is what we are best at."
With UWM leading comfortably for most of the night, Western Michigan used a late 10-5 spurt to trim a seven point deficit all the way down to just two at 75-73 with 3:05 remaining. But, the three was again a dagger, as Rodriguez drilled one from the wing on the next possession to start seven straight points by UWM to put it away.
The Panthers shot 53.8 percent in the second half to end the night at a season-best 45.3 percent (29-for-64) overall. They forced 22 turnovers - including 17 in the first half alone - and scored a season-high 88 points. In fact, that point total was the highest in the regular season for a UWM squad since an 88-65 win over SIU Edwardsville back in November of 2008.
"We took away a lot of positives from this game, but also have some things now that we have seen on film that we definitely need to work on when we have these 10 days off coming up," Rechlicz said.
Milwaukee led by as many as 12 in an up-and-down the court first half and headed into the locker room with a 41-34 lead at intermission. After UWM had built an early lead and had it cut into, sophomore Janna Swopshire's pair of free throws capped a 10-3 run and gave Milwaukee a 30-19 advantage. Western would get a bucket back, but Decorah's three at the 3:38 mark gave the Panthers their biggest lead of the first half at 33-21.
The Panthers started by making five of their first nine shots and led 18-11 on a pair of free throws by Theut, courtesy of an early 7-0 spurt. The Broncos made a dent to get within 20-16, but Milwaukee came right back and extended its advantage 26-16 on a transition three by Green from the corner.
Aurielle Anderson led three WMU players in double-figures with 26 points, with Michelle O'Brien (10 points/10 rebounds) and Miracle Woods (13/12) each adding double-doubles off the bench.
Up next, the Panthers have 10 days off before heading to Puerto Rico for the San Juan Shootout, playing November 24 and 25. Game one in the tournament is against nationally-ranked Georgia Tech.