Decisive Scoring Run Secures DePaul Victory Over Milwaukee
Dec. 11, 2012
CHICAGO, Ill. - A career-high 30 points by junior Angela Rodriguez was not enough as the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee women's basketball team fell, 94-83, to DePaul University Tuesday afternoon at McGrath-Phillips Arena.
The Panthers (4-6) played hard to the final buzzer, but a decisive scoring run by the Blue Demons (7-3) late in the second half put the decision out of reach. Milwaukee was within eight points on a handful of occasions in the second half, but DePaul - which came into the game receiving votes in the USA Today Coaches poll - used a 16-4 run to open up its lead with about six minutes to play and fend off Milwaukee from there.
"I was extremely proud of our effort in both halves," UWM head coach Kyle Rechlicz said. "It came down to breakdowns on defense. That is something that we have preached about, something that we have talked a lot about. Now that we have this extended break of over 10 days, we can really drill and get better at. We have to keep fighting, learn from our mistakes and continue to get better. "
Rodriguez set a career-best with six made three's on her way to her first 30-point performance of her UWM career. She added six assists and a pair of steals.
Anna Martin led the Blue Demons with 30 points, while Jasmine Penny finished with 22.
"We have to be able to stop people," Rechlicz said. "Obviously, Anna Martin is a great player. She put up big numbers last year and got in a shooting groove early today. But I felt like Angela Rodriguez countered her very well. She really helped us stay in the game."
Milwaukee trailed by seven at the break and fell behind by as many 16 early in the second before once again using the three-point shot to claw back. UWM used a 16-8 scoring run of its own to trim the deficit to just eight at 64-56 on a layup by freshman Avyanna Young at the 10:53 mark before the decisive scoring run by the home team.
The Panthers finished with 14 three-pointers in the game, actually setting an opponent record for made three-point field goals at McGrath-Phillips Arena.
"That was the moment," Rechlicz said. "That 16-4 run was the key to the game. We told them that this is a team that wins games based off of runs they get in transition. We knew that transition defense would be the key - and they got three or four transition baskets where we were not back and ready to play defense. And those are the breakdowns I am talking about. We have to lock in for 40 minutes against a Big East team - not 25, not 30 - it has to be 40 minutes of playing as hard as we can while also being as focused as we can."
DePaul was taking charge in the first, but the Panthers found a way to get back into the game the final three minutes of the half. Down, 35-22, after the Blue Demons went on a 22-6 scoring run, UWM got hot at the end of the first. They finished the period scoring 12 of the final 18 points, including eight in a row over the final 69 seconds to get back within seven at 41-34 heading into the locker room.
Milwaukee shot well from long range, making 6-of-17 three's, but made just six of 22 attempts on two-pointers in the first 20 minutes. The Panthers started strong, taking a 16-13 advantage after a pair of free throws by sophomore Janna Swopshire with 12:33 to go. The Blue Demons then took control, using that 22-6 run that included 12 points in a row at one point and built their biggest lead of the half at 41-26 with just 96 seconds remaining before UWM would finish with a flurry.
Up next, the Panthers have 12 days off, but do remain on the road, traveling to Fargo, North Dakota for a matchup with North Dakota State right before the Christmas holiday, Dec. 23. Tip off is 2 p.m.