UIC @ Milwaukee
Wednesday, Jan. 23 7 p.m.
Milwaukee, Wis. (Klotsche Center/5,000)
Radio: WOKY - 920 AM (Scott Warras)
TV: Time Warner Sports (Bob Brainerd/Jason Clark)
uwmpanthers.com: Live Stats, Video, Audio
Complete Release in PDF Format
MILWAUKEE, Wis. (Jan. 22, 2007) - The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee women's basketball team returns to the Klotsche Center with a five-game winning streak in tact and will put it on the line when it hosts UIC Wednesday. The Panthers and Flames will tip off at 7 p.m.
The Panthers have won five-straight games and enter the week with a four-game home winning streak ... in its last time out, UWM picked up a 65-50 win at Butler ... Milwaukee's win, coupled with a Green Bay loss Saturday, put the Panthers into a first-place tie in the Horizon League standings at 5-1 ... UIC is coming off a win over Loyola Saturday ... Milwaukee was picked to win the Horizon League in its preseason poll of league coaches, SIDs and media members ... Edwards was named the Horizon League Preseason Player of the Year.
The Panthers remain at home for two more games, including Saturday vs. Loyola.
Figuring Out The Flames
UIC is off to a 1-4 start in league play after a 76-69 win over city rival Loyola Saturday. The Flames had lost nine of their previous 10 games before the win and enter action this week at 5-11. Jessica Miller leads the team in scoring at 12.7 points per game, while pullding down 5.3 boards and dishing out 3.8 assists per contest. Briana Hinkle has come on strong in the league season, averaging 14.8 ppg to push her season figure to 11.8 ppg.
The Panthers have won 10 of their last 11 meetings with UIC, building a 24-10 all-time advantage in the series. UWM's current win streak sits at six-straight wins after last losing to the Flames in Chicago in 2005.
Last Time Out: Milwaukee 65, Butler 50
Traci Edwards scored 21 points, pulled down 11 rebounds and tied a school record by going 11-for-11 from the free throw line to lead Milwaukee to a 65-50 win over Butler Saturday afternoon at Hinkle Fieldhouse. The Panthers ended the game on a back-breaking 22-5 run to break open what had been a two-point game.
Notes From The Butler Game
Milwaukee shot 50 percent in a game for the third time this season, finishing at 50 percent in each of the first two instances ... the game was just the second this season in which UWM shot at least 50 percent in each half ... the 50 points UWM surrendered is a season low ... Aubri Rote had a career-high six assists.
Finding Themselves In First
The Panthers got a pleasant surprise as they boarded the bus following their win at Butler. Valparaiso defeated Green Bay, handing the Phoenix its first league loss of the season. The result puts Milwaukee in a tie atop the league standings with Green Bay at 5-1. The team is in first place for the first time since just a year prior (Jan. 12, 2007), when it was 3-0.
Well, If They're `Free'...
Traci Edwards shot her way to a game-high 21 points at Butler Saturday, doing most of her damage at the free throw line. She was a perfect 11-for-11 from the charity stripe, tying a school record for free throw percentage. She also had the second-most free throws made in a game without a miss, tying Corrin Von Wald's matching effort from the 1999-00 season. Later that season, Von Wald posted the best free throw shooting game, going 18-for-18. Eighteen made free throws is the minimum for inclusion in the NCAA Record Book. Edwards, meanwhile, has assembled a streak of 21-straight made free throws. The longest known streak in school history is 27 by Von Wald. While research on the record continues, Edwards' current streak is the third-longest known such streak behind a streak of 23-straight made by Nichole Luchsinger, also in 1999-00.
500 And Counting
Milwaukee's win at Valparaiso last Thursday was the 500th in its program history. The Panthers followed that up with a win at Butler Saturday, their 250th win at the Division I level. The program is now 501-425 all-time, including 250-243 since moving to Division I in 1990.
Sometimes It's How You Start...
The Panthers have excelled when they have given themselves the early advantage, as evidenced by a 9-2 record when they win the tip off. UWM is also 6-0 when it scores first.
Sometimes... Not So Much
Milwaukee still has four wins this season when its opponent gets on the board first (4-8). But, the first possession for the team doesn't seem too crucial. The Panthers are 4-3 when their first possession yields points, while boasting a respectable 6-4 when not scoring on that possession.
What It Takes To Win
Every team needs things to go right in order to win, but the keys for the Panthers this season have been rebounding and three-point shooting. In the first eight of their wins, they outrebounded their opponents and hit at least six 3-pointers each time. Against Cleveland State, Milwaukee hit just five 3's, its lowest total in a win this season. Overall, the rebounding comparison is staggering, as UWM is outrebounding opponents by 13.2 per game in its seven wins, but concede a 3.0 rebounding edge in seven losses. From three-point range, Milwaukee is shooting 42.6 percent in wins, compared to just 27.3 in losses.
Doing It With Defense
The Panthers are off to a 5-1 start in league play and it has been their defense that has been the difference. While shooting has been slightly down since the start of the league season, UWM's offensive numbers have risen. Milwaukee is forcing 18.3 turnovers a game, including 7.5 on steals. League foes are also scoring a league-low 58.3 points per contest this season. The 50 points allowed to Butler are a season low for the Panthers.
Especially Of Late
UWM has not allowed an opponent to reach 70 points in 11-straight games, the team's longest stretch since a 15-game run at the end of the 2005-06 season. In that time, opponents are scoring just 60 points per game. The Panthers have also held their last four opponents under 30 percent shooting from three-point range and three of the last four to less than 40 percent shooting from the field.
Milwaukee has found comfort on the road this season, as evidenced by its 6-3 record away from home. The Panthers are shooting well on their opponents' rims, hitting on 38.9 percent from three-point range and 77.7 percent from the free throw line. UWM went 6-11 on the road last season after a 9-5 road mark in 2005-06.
Double Or Nothing
At Detroit Jan. 5, Traci Edwards collected her 36th career double-double, tying a school record. She followed that up with school-record No. 37 Jan. 10 against Youngstown State. In fact, Edwards had 15 points and 11 boards at halftime to push past the record and tie another--career double-digit rebounding games (38). At Butler Saturday, she added another double-double to her resume, breaking the double-digit rebounding mark. She has wasted little time in racking up the double-doubles in her career, reaching 38 in her first 78 games thanks to a school-record 15 as a freshman, on her way to averaging a double-double for the season.
As just a junior, Traci Edwards is poised to hold a number of school records when her career comes to an end. The parade of records has already started with her aforementioned double-double mark. But, against Youngstown State Jan. 10, she sank seven free throws to give her 394 for her career, a total she has since pushed to 416. Maria Viall had held the school mark of 390 and was the record holder in attempts with 550. Edwards broke that mark last Thursday (565) and now trails Viall by just seven 20-point games and Jessica Wilhite by one double-digit scoring games for second all-time (74).
Edwards is also fast approaching Wilhite on the school's Division I career scoring list. She enters play Wednesday with 1,444 points, 27 back of Wilhite's career total of 1,471. On the rebounding side, Edwards passed Erica Young for second in the school's Division I history with 11 boards at Butler. She now has 755, compared to Young's 751, and now trails only Viall (971).
Pacing The Panthers
It's no surprise that Traci Edwards is the focal point of the UWM offense. But, this season, she has stepped up that team-leading production. In 78 career games, Edwards has led the team in scoring 62 times and rebounding 66 times. She has led the team in scoring in 15-of-17 games this season and had a streak of 27-straight games she played in where she led the team in scoring come to an end. She also had a smaller streak of 11-straight games leading in rebounding snapped. The scoring streak was a school record and three times longer than any such streak in the team's Division I history. After that streak ended, Edwards led the team in scoring in 10-straight games, the second-longest streak in school history. Aubri Rote ended both streaks and is the only other Panther to have, or tie for, team-high scoring honors this season.
Keeping It Going
Edwards has kept one streak going for quite some time, scoring in double-figures for the 40th-straight game Saturday. She started the season with a 23-game streak that had already established a school record and scored 30 points in the season opener. The 30-point outing was a school record for points in a season opener and the fourth 30-point outing of her career, another record (she now has five). It was also Edwards' fifth-straight 20-point game dating back to last season, tying a school record she had already shared. She has scored in double figures 73 times in her career (78 games), including 20-or-more points 34 times.
Buying A New Calendar
The Panthers have found their fair share of success after the calendar turns in the middle of the season. In fact, UWM is now 5-2 over the last seven seasons in its first game after New Year's and 107-46 after New Year's since 1999-00. That mark includes a 17-2 record two years ago. Lastly, the Panthers are 39-15 in January since 2001-02.
Everybody Gets Into The Act
Head coach Sandy Botham has been stressing the importance of bench scoring this season being key for winning. She may be on to something there. In UWM's nine wins, the Panther bench is averaging 22.6 points per game. In seven losses, Milwaukee is getting just 13.6 points from the bench. In fact, there have been nine double-digit scorers off the bench and, before Jan. 3 at Wright State, each had come in a win. Maurika Hickman has scored 10 points off the bench four times, Jineen Williams three times and Emily Markert twice. The UWM bench has outscored its opponents in 10-of-17 games this season and Milwaukee has gone 7-3 in those games.
Player Of The Week
Traci Edwards was named the Horizon League Player of the Week Jan. 14. She led UWM to a 2-0 record the previous week by averaging 24.5 points, 9.0 rebounds, 2.5 steals and 2.0 blocks per game. The award was the sixth of her career, one back of Maria Viall's school record of seven honors and three behind Nicole Soulis' (Green Bay) league record of nine.
The Comeback Kids Have Come Back
Milwaukee overcame a 13-point first-half deficit, and an eight-point hole at halftime, to defeat Cleveland State Jan. 12. While it was the first time this season the Panthers won after trailing at halftime, they do have a recent history of doing just that. UWM last overcame a halftime deficit to win in the league quarterfinals against Wright State last season (down five at half). Two games prior to that, the Panthers trailed by 13 at the break, but stormed back to win at UIC. Against the Raiders, Milwaukee trailed 23-4, while the Flames built a lead as high as 18 before UWM stormed back to win. The comebacks last season were the second (tied) and fourth-largest comebacks in the team's Division I history.
Panthers Pace Pack In Poll
The Panthers were picked to win the 2007-08 Horizon League regular season title in the league's annual preseason poll. Milwaukee, who last topped the poll in 2001-02, received 13 first-place votes and 253 total point to edge last year's regular season and tourney champ Green Bay with nine first-place nods and 244 points. Butler, in third with 238 points, also received five first-place votes, while UIC received the last one and was picked fourth (178 points). Voting was conducted among the league's coaches, SIDs and media members.
Two days after the release of the preseason poll, the league office announced its preseason all-league teams and junior Traci Edwards topped the list. She was named the Preseason Player of the Year with a near-unanimous 267 points. An all-league first-teamer as a freshman and sophomore, Edwards was player of the year on 24 ballots and listed second on the three others.
The Panthers are looking to continue a strong tradition of success in the Horizon League in 2007-08. Milwaukee has finished second-or-better in the league standings in seven of the last eight seasons and are 98-31 in league games since 1999-2000. UWM has won league titles in 2001 and 2006.
Two numbers to keep an eye on for Sandy Botham are 20 and seven. If the Panthers can post their third 20-win season under Botham, the 12th-year head coach would reach 200 coaching wins at UWM. Last season, she slipped by the 200-win mark for her career and now has 211. Also, seven league wins would tie the Horizon League record for most league coaching wins. With Milwaukee off to a 5-1 league start, she now has 123 league wins. The record is 125 by Kevin Borseth, who left Green Bay in the off-season to become head coach at Michigan.
Home Sweet Home
The Klotsche Center remains a difficult place for visiting teams to succeed. In 11-plus years under Sandy Botham, the Panthers are 101-46 at home. The Panthers went 8-5 at home last season after a school-record 13-3 home campaign in 2005-06. In league play, those numbers are even better as Milwaukee boasts a 70-16 home league mark. The Panthers have won 55 of their last 64 home league games over the last eight seasons and posted three perfect home league years--going 8-0 in 2003-04 and 7-0 in both 1999-2000 and 2000-01.
Tough Luck No More
While the Klotsche Center is no picnic for opponents to play in, the Panthers found harsh going on its home floor ealrier this season. UWM got off to a 0-4 start at home this season, with three of those losses by three points or less. But, Milwaukee has won its last four games at home to even its mark at Klotsche to 4-4 this season.
Back In Black & Gold
Head coach Sandy Botham returns nine letterwinners overall from last season, including an experienced core of four starters. Junior center Traci Edwards leads the way, coming off her second-straight all-league first team season in which she set school records for points and points per game. Guard Meredith Onson, one of two seniors on the team, also returns after finishing second on the team in scoring and three-pointers. Juniors Katie Fournier and Turquoise McCain round out the starters after starting a combined 47 games last season. Additionally, junior Jody Crumble has started her second season at UWM after transfering from Jackson State. She started the final 10 games of the year after becoming eligible to play second semester of last season.
Welcome To Milwaukee
With seven upperclassmen returning, the Panthers have an experienced base to work from. But, that didn't stop the coaching staff from bringing in a strong class of freshmen and a junior college transfer. A two-time NJCAA All-American at Illinois Valley Community College, Markita Barnes adds to an already outstanding junior class. Freshmen Maurika Hickman, Jenilee Klomstead, Stephanie Schell and Jineen Williams were also signed to National Letters of Intent in the off-season. Plus, UWM benefits from the eligibility of freshman transfer Lindsay Laur. Laur transferred from Colorado State between semesters last season and was ruled eligible for the start of the season.
Kicking It Up A Notch
All 29 Panther games will be carried live in the Milwaukee area on the radio, marking the most extensive radio package in the program's history. WOKY is in its second season as the radio home for UWM women's basketball after carrying half of the team's schedule last season. The station will also be the home of the Sandy Botham Radio Show, while both the show and every game will be available live at uwmpanthers.com.
Lights, Camera, Action
Also stepped up this season is the number of times Milwaukee will play on television. The Panthers will be televised live seven times this season after just three games were televised live last season. All seven will be televised live on Time Warner Sports Channel 32 in Milwaukee. Fans can also re-live the excitement, as each game will be replayed on TWS and available on Wisconsin On Demand Channel 1111. In addition, all league home games will also be available on Wisconsin On Demand and the Horizon League title game will also be televised on ESPNU. Every league game, home or road, with also be available via webcast on the Horizon League Network.
A Few More Notes
Milwaukee won its season-opener for the first time since 2001-02 ... the Panthers scored 88 points at Chicago State, a school record for points in a season opener ... in the season opener, Traci Edwards (30 points) and Aubri Rote (20 points) were the first UWM teammates to each tally 20 points since Feb. 11, 2006 ... it was also the first time that Milwaukee had a 30-point scorer and 20-point scorer in the same game since Jan. 15, 1998 ... Rote's season-opening night included a 6-of-7 three-point shooting effort, tied for the sixth-most three's in a single game and the fourth-best percentage in school history ... Milwaukee entered league season with a 5-6 record, it's best non-league mark since 2001-02 (6-5).
Building For The Future
Milwaukee signed a player to a National Letter of Intent during the early signing period when Amanda Viehauser of Minneapolis, Minn., committed to the Panthers. A varsity player since her eighth-grade year, Viehauser is coming off all-state honorable mention honors in her first year at Armstrong High School. She averaged 12.4 points per game and was named to the all-conference team. Prior to that, she played three years at Minneapolis Washburn High School.