Milwaukee Falls To UND On Schoolday With The Panthers
Dec. 4, 2013
MILWAUKEE - The University of North Dakota used a 12-2 scoring run to break a 52-52 tie and pull away from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee women's basketball team in the second half, eventually settling for a 78-66 victory Wednesday afternoon.
The Panthers (2-5) quickly erased an eight-point deficit just after halftime and tied the contest on numerous occasions against UND (3-2) in the second, but could not complete the comeback in falling in front of one of the largest crowds in Milwaukee women's basketball history.
The game was advertised as "Schoolday with the Panthers" and the kids showed up in large numbers to make the Klotsche Center a very loud atmosphere for the matinee contest. The sellout crowd of 3,500 will go down as the third-largest crowd to ever attend a UWM women's game.
"I am so thankful for all of the schools that came out today," Milwaukee head coach Kyle Rechlicz said. "It was such an electrifying atmosphere to play in front of. I really felt like that energy helped us in the first half. It was loud in there. The energy was great and I am very appreciative of all the fans and schools that came out to spend the time with us today."
Senior Angela Rodriguez led the Panthers with a game-high 21 points and six assists. Sophomore Avyanna Young added a double-double of 13 points and 11 rebounds and junior Ashley Green finished with 17 points, five rebounds and four assists.
Madi Buck led four UDM players in double-figures, finishing with a double-double of 18 points and 10 rebounds.
The Panthers were down by six at halftime and fell behind by eight on the first possession after intermission. But, they stormed back from there, putting together a 9-0 spurt to tie the game and take the lead. Rodriguez hit a pair of three-pointers and Young's old-fashioned three-point play at the 16:20 mark gave UWM a 37-36 advantage.
But, North Dakota would not go away and would answer each time. Milwaukee would tie at 43-all, 45-all and 52-52 but could never forge back ahead.
"I just felt like we couldn't get over the hump," Rechlicz said. "It was not a lack of effort at the beginning of the second half when we made that comeback run. I think we were intense, we were really into it, we were focused - which is what we want our identity to be. But then I felt like we lost focus and some of our identity and the honest truth is that they just outplayed us for the rebounds and they were more aggressive than us in getting to the free throw line."
From there, UND took control with that 12-2 run that pushed the lead to 10 for the first time at 66-56 with just under five minutes to play. The Panthers would get no closer than six the rest of the day.
For the game, rebounding played a crucial role, as UND finished with a 53-35 advantage on the boards, including 25-11 on the offensive glass.
"I felt like No. 2 and No. 13 (from UND) just wanted it more than our players," Rechlicz said. "We let them get an early crash which put us in a position to be behind them. We were honestly late on a lot of things today. We should have been able to feed off the crowd's energy to not allow that to happen. This continues to be a learning experience for us - everything is preparing us for conference and we have to continue to get better."
Milwaukee shot 41 percent (25-for-61) from the floor on the day and once again made 10 more three-pointers. It also had a positive ratio of 17 assists to 14 turnovers, but UDM was able to put together a 17-6 edge in points off turnovers.
It's back on the road for Milwaukee on the weekend, heading to Ohio for a game at Bowling Green Sunday. Tip time is set for 1 p.m. CST.