Milwaukee Rolls Past Air Force, 65-53
MILWAUKEE, Wis. (Dec. 7, 2006) - The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee women's basketball team held Air Force to 13 points on 16.7 percent shooting in the first half to roll to a 65-53 win Thursday night at the Klotsche Center.
The Panthers (4-6) came out of the gates fast and aggressive, holding Air Force (3-5) to 4-of-24 shooting and forcing 11 turnovers in the first half and carrying a 36-13 lead into intermission.
"We knew it was real important to come out of the gates big," Milwaukee head coach Sandy Botham said. "The last few games we haven't come out strong and so we worked on it in practice. With the press it forced our kids to be more aggressive. Air Force is very good at executing its offense in the half court. We wanted to control the tempo and disrupt their offense and we were able to do that."
Sophomore Traci Edwards was UWM's lone player in double digits, posting a double-double with 19 points and 13 rebounds to go with four blocks. Sophomore Turquoise McCain added nine points and senior Aubrey Hampton and junior Meredith Onson scored seven apiece in the balanced effort.
"Tonight there was good balance from a number of different people, led by Traci," Botham said. "Turq has also been one of our most steady players this season. She's only a sophomore and continues to get better."
Twelve players saw action for Milwaukee with 10 breaking into the scoring column.
Latricia Castillo finished with 18 points for the Falcons and Pamela Findlay added 11.
Milwaukee's defense was the story of the game, as it finished with a season-high eight blocks, tied for third-most in school history, and held Air Force to just 32.2 percent shooting on the night. The Panthers also controlled the glass, holding a 39-31 rebounding advantage, and came up with seven steals.
UWM opened the game with an 11-2 run, including scoring the first seven points of the game, and ended the frame with a 12-1 stretch to put the game out of reach early.
After the break, the Panthers built their lead to a game-high 25 at 40-15 in the first 30 seconds of the second half on an Edwards lay up. The Falcons then took advantage of some sloppy play by UWM to go on a 16-6 run and pull within 15 at 46-31 with 10:41 to go.
The Panthers committed 10 turnovers in the first 10 minutes of the half, before settling down and pushing its lead to 22 at 65-43 with 1:10 remaining. Air Force then scored the final 10 points of the game to provide for the final tally.
"With the youth that we have on this team we have a tendency to relax when we get a big lead," Botham said. "We need to build a lead, keep attacking and not let teams claw back into the game."
Milwaukee returns to the road this weekend, playing at North Dakota State Sunday. Tip-off is scheduled for 2 p.m. in Fargo, N.D.