Young, Decorah Lead Milwaukee To Victory Over Illinois State
Dec. 22, 2013
MILWAUKEE - Sophomore Avyanna Young posted a double-double of 18 points and 16 rebounds and senior Emily Decorah also scored 18 points to power the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee women's basketball team to a convincing 73-58 victory over Illinois State University Sunday afternoon at the Klotsche Center.
The Panthers (3-8) built a comfortable lead by halftime against the Redbirds (1-8) and extended the advantage to as many as 17 late in the game before claiming the victory.
"I really felt like we locked into a defensive plan," UWM head coach Kyle Rechlicz said. "No matter what happens on offense, we've got to lock in to stopping some people and we did an amazing job of holding some of their better players to some low scoring today."
Milwaukee set season-bests on defense by holding its opponent to 58 points and 30.6 percent (22-of-72) shooting from the field. The Panthers were even stingier from three-point range, limiting Illinois State to just a pair of made three's on 21 tries, a shooting percentage of just 9.5 percent.
Senior Angela Rodriguez added 17 points and a game-high seven assists. Junior Ashley Green was also in double-figures with 10 points. The double-double was the fourth of the season for Young, who tied her career-high with the 16 boards.
"She is the reason why we won this game, in all honesty," Rechlicz said. "The fact that she got 13 defensive boards was incredible. She wanted to get every rebound she possibly could and we need that consistently out of her."
Decorah's 18 points was a season-high and included an impressive 5-for-9 showing on three-pointers.
"She struggled in the Marquette game, but we as a staff and our team have so much confidence in her that it doesn't matter, even if she started 1-for-8 we would still have been giving the ball to her towards the end of the game," Rechlicz said. "But it was really nice to see her on and nice to see when our team gets excited for her when she is hitting as well."
In fact, UWM connected on more than half of its three's on the day, making nine of 17, including five of seven after halftime. The team also out-rebounded its opponent for the first time in six games, winning the battle of the boards by a count of 45-to-42 to snap a four-game slide.
Chloe Nelson led three Redbirds in double-figures with 13 points.
Both teams shot well early and, after trading baskets for the opening minutes, Illinois State took its largest lead of the day at 18-12 at the 9:19 mark. Two Rodriguez free throws and a Decorah triple trimmed the deficit quickly. UWM would take control from there, scoring 10 of the final 13 points of the half to take a 29-23 lead into the locker room.
ISU would stick around and had the deficit back to just two at 33-31 before a quick 7-0 run by UWM would regain the momentum. The Panthers took their first 10-point lead on a Green jumper at the 11:46 mark and then led by double-figures the rest of the way after Young's three-point play on a layup and free throw with nine minutes to play.
The Redbirds did try and foul to get back into the game, with Milwaukee going to the line 31 times in the second half. The team converted 19 of those, but also used that solid defensive effort to take care of the rest and claim the victory.
Up next, the team will have a week off before closing out 2013 at Drake next Sunday. Tip time is set for 2 p.m. against the Bulldogs.