Milwaukee Closes Challenging Homestand Against Detroit
Junior Sammy Theut

Junior Sammy Theut

Feb. 10, 2012

 Game 23 | Milwaukee (6-16, 2-9) vs. Detroit (13-11, 9-3)
 Date  Saturday, February 11 | 4 p.m. Central
 Location  Milwaukee, Wis. | Klotsche Center (3,500)
 Live Stats  GameTracker
 Media  Audio | Twitter Updates | Watch on HLN | Watch on TWC Sports 32

The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee women's basketball team continues a stretch against second-place Horizon League opponents, welcoming the University of Detroit Saturday to the Klotsche Center. The Panthers are coming off a tough loss to Wright State in a game they led in the second half, while the Titans are coming off a 70-58 upset of No. 9/9 and previously unbeaten Green Bay. The game is also set to be televised on TWC Sports 32 with a 4 p.m. tip, with Bob Brainerd and Lindsay Laur on the call.

UWM Game Notes Get Acrobat Reader

Looking at Detroit
The Titans are 13-11 overall, but coming off that upset victory over No. 9/9 Green Bay that snapped 41-game regular-season and 36-game home winning streaks of the Phoenix. Detroit returns seven letterwinners from last season's 13-18 squad, while adding four newcomers. Three starters return, led by the senior backcourt of Lauren Allen and Jalesa Jones, along with Second-Team All-Horizon League preseason selection Yar Shayok. UDM has gone 12-3 in its last 15 games and is led offensively by Shareta Brown. Brown leads the team with 16.3 points and 8.7 rebounds a game and is shooting 55 percent from the floor.

Series History
Milwaukee leads the relatively-even series, 22-20, overall. Both teams have had recent win streaks, with a UWM victory in last season's finale snapping a four-game streak for UDM. That stretch was preceded by seven straight wins in the series by the Panthers.

Last Game
Sami Tucker and Ashley Green led four players in double-figures with 12 points each, but it was not enough as Milwaukee dropped a 64-52 decision to Wright State University Thursday at the Klotsche Center.

Angela Rodriguez had 11 points and Kiki Wilson scored 10 to round out the list for the Panthers (6-16, 2-9 Horizon League). Tucker led the team with eight rebounds and Rodriguez added a game-high six assists. Molly Fox recorded a game-high double-double of 21 points and 12 rebounds to pace the Raiders (16-8, 9-3 Horizon League).

Milwaukee quickly took the lead in the second half, going ahead 24-22 on a three by Wilson just 55 seconds in and again at 26-24 on a jumper by Rodriguez with 18:29 to play. It went all Wright State's way at the point, rattling off a 20-2 run to go ahead 44-28 with just over 10 minutes to play and take control of the contest.

Packing Them In
The Panthers have played in front of some large crowds this season, including 7,066 fans at No. 1 Baylor and 5,725 at Oklahoma. Add Green Bay to the list Feb. 4, as Milwaukee and Green Bay sold out the Kress Center and played in front of a capacity crowd of 4,018. In fact, it was the first time that a game had ever been announced as sold-out prior to the start of the contest in facility history.

Ranked Foes
The Panthers took on Green Bay for the second time this season Feb. 4, facing their third different nationally-ranked opponent this year. UWM also played No. 1/1 Baylor and No. 24/23 Oklahoma earlier this season. Milwaukee has now played 33 games (1-32) all-time against nationally-ranked opponents in program history.

Strong Defensive Stand
The Panthers held Valparaiso to 36.4 percent shooting from the floor, forced 21 turnovers and limited their opponents to just 47 points Jan. 26. That marked the fewest points allowed since Milwaukee held Youngstown State to 39 in a 73-39 victory March 6, 2010.

500 Club
The Panthers have now had three players eclipse the 500-point mark in their careers just this season. Junior Sami Tucker started the campaign with 483 and tallied her 500th at Drake Nov. 18. Sophomore Angela Rodriguez joined the club against Loyola Dec. 29, scoring 14 to move to 502. Sophomore Courtney Lindfors joined them Jan. 26 at Valparaiso. She started the game at 486 and recorded 14 points in the victory to finish on the number to become the 31st player to score 500 points in a career in program history.

I Can Get Used to This
Just seven games into her freshman season, Ashley Green made her way into the starting lineup after an injury created an opportunity. She has responded well, averaging 10.6 points, 5.4 rebounds and over two assists and close to two steals in 15 starts since Dec. 8.

From `A' to `Z'
The Panthers posted a complete game effort against Youngstown State Jan. 21, leading from start to finish. UWM outshot YSU from the floor (.563 to .393), from long-distance (.444 to .320) and from the line (.700 to .571) while also outrebounding it by 12 on the day. The only other time Milwaukee has never trailed this year was against Chicago State Dec. 15. In addition, the 56.3 percent shooting marked a season high and was the best performance from the floor since hitting at a 57.4 percent clip at Valparaiso Jan. 27 of last season.

Working for Charity
Milwaukee went a perfect 10-for-10 from the line against Valparaiso Jan. 26, the first time it finished 100 percent on free throws this season. It also marked the first time the team accomplished the feat since Feb. 24 of last season, when it went 17-for-17 against Butler.

Those First Few Minutes
More importantly, the Panthers were the ones with the hot start against YSU Jan. 21 instead of their opponents. They scored nine of the first 10 points and led by scores of 9-1 and 15-7 before eventually building that lead to 25-9. That start is in comparison to UWM falling down the three games previous to that: 14-3 against Cleveland State, 9-0 at Wright State and 11-3 at Detroit.

A Real Helping Hand
Freshman Kiki Wilson handed out a career-best eight assists against YSU Jan. 21 and also had zero turnovers up until the final minute of the game, finishing with just one. That topped her previous collegiate high of seven and marked the most for any UWM player this season. It also marks the most since Angela Rodriguez had 10 at UIC February 12 of last season.

First Start is a Good Start
Freshman Janna Swopshire scored 10 points and grabbed nine rebounds in her first start in a Panther uniform against Wright State Jan. 14. She made five of seven shots from the floor, added a pair of assists and also set a season-high with 26 minutes played.

Injury Update
Sophomore Emily Decorah, a starter in the first six games of the season, will miss the remainder of the year after suffering a knee injury in practice the week of the Baylor game. Sophomore Allie Pfeffer, who missed most of last season with a knee injury, is making progress and expected to return in 2012.

Ranked Foes
The Panthers took on Green Bay Jan. 7, facing their third nationally-ranked opponent of the season when the Phoenix came into the contest at No. 17/14 in the polls. UWM has already taken on No. 1/1 Baylor and No. 24/23 Oklahoma earlier this season. Milwaukee has now played 31 games (1-30) all-time against nationally-ranked opponents in program history.

No Big Deal
The Panthers quickly saw their 28-25 halftime lead against Toledo Dec. 18 evaporate when the Rockets scored the first 19 points of the second half and eventually led by 16 at 46-30 with 9:29 to play. UWM took it in stride, responding with a 22-2 run of its own to lead, 52-48, at the 3:21 mark, a span of just six minutes and eight seconds. In winning the game, the Panthers posted the fifth-largest deficit ever overcome in team history, tying another 16-point comeback against UMKC in 1992. It did, however, mark the second-largest second-half deficit ever eclipsed, topped only by a 19-point comeback against SE Missouri State with just 8:38 left in the second half in January of 1993.

An "Impressive Ratio"
The Panthers came close to breaking the school record of 28 assists in a single game against Chicago State Dec. 15, recording an impressive 26 on 30 made field goals (87%). Not only was it the fourth-highest total in school history, but UWM had 16 assists on 16 first-half baskets, with the first unassisted hoop not coming until the second minute of the second half.

For Openers
Milwaukee is now 9-11 in conference openers since moving to NCAA Division I play, including an 8-8 mark under head coach Sandy Botham after falling to Loyola Dec. 29. A season ago, a UWM comeback came up just short in a 77-73 loss to Wright State.

Block Party
Sophomore Courtney Lindfors seems to enjoy playing Chicago State. After putting up a 35 point/13 rebound stat line against them as a freshman, she recorded her second career double-double Dec. 15 when she scored 24 points and grabbed 11 rebounds against the Cougars. She also blocked six shots, just one off the school mark of seven held by Traci Edwards. It was just the third six-block effort in program history.

All Before Intermission
Sophomore Courtney Lindfors netted 20 of her 24 points in just the first half against Chicago State. The outburst marked the first time a UWM player had scored at least 20 in a half since Lindfors herself accomplished the same feat a year ago - netting 22 of her career-high 35 in the second half against the same CSU squad November 16 last season.

Taking on the Big Time
The Panthers headed into unprecedented territory on two fronts when they hit the court Dec. 8-11. First off, Milwaukee played a No. 1-ranked team for the first time in program history (previous high was No. 3 Duke in 2001 NCAA Tournament). Secondly, after taking on No. 24/23 Oklahoma Sunday, UWM also played back-to-back games against ranked foes for the first time in school history.

Hang Your Hat
The Panthers took on No. 1 Baylor Dec. 8 and have a couple of noticeable accomplishments to take from the game despite the loss. First off, UWM held the Lady Bears to their lowest scoring output of the season at 72 points (for a team averaging 90) and also held All-American Brittney Griner four points and six rebounds below her season averages.

Tucker-Tucker
Junior Sami Tucker posted three-consecutive double-doubles, ending with 21 points and 11 rebounds at Western Michigan Dec. 3. The most recent comparable streak of consecutive double-doubles was a year ago when Lindsay Laur posted five in a row (Dec. 19-Jan. 6).

Preseason Publicity
Angela Rodriguez was named to the Preseason All-Horizon League Second Team in the league's annual preseason poll of head coaches, media members and sports information directors.

In addition, College Sports Madness named Sami Tucker to its All-Horizon Second Team.

Taking Care of the Rock
Despite the loss at Drake Nov. 18, UWM managed a pair of bright spots: its seven total turnovers set a program mark for fewest in a game (record had been eight set three times). And, the 17 steals marked the most for the team since it had 18 against Butler in January of 2002.

Taking a deeper look, the Panthers committed fewer turnovers than their opponent in each of the first four games of the season. For perspective, the last time Milwaukee had fewer turnovers than its opponent for at least four games in a row was part of a five-game stretch in the midst of the 2004-05 campaign (Nov. 27-Dec. 12, 2004).

Tough Competition
Milwaukee had its work cut out for itself in the non-league portion of its schedule. The Panthers opened the season against the Wisconsin Badgers and welcomed preseason No. 25 Michigan State to the Klotsche Center Nov. 22. A December road trip was the ultimate test, playing at preseason No. 1 Baylor Dec. 8 and following that up with a game three days later at No. 16 Oklahoma. They also faced a Toledo squad Dec. 18 that won the WNIT a season ago.

Inside of league play, they will battle Horizon League foe Green Bay twice, with the Phoenix coming off a Sweet 16 appearance in 2010-11 and having earned a preseason ranking of No. 24.

Short List
Kiki Wilson became just the 12th freshman to start a season opener in UWM's NCAA Division I history Nov. 11. A season ago, Angela Rodriguez and Courtney Lindfors also earned that distinction.

Back in Black (and Gold)
UWM will be fortunate to have experience on the court in 2011-12 as four starters and seven letterwinners return from last season. Heading the list of returners is Angela Rodriguez, named the Horizon League Newcomer of the Year a season ago after averaging 12.6 points per game. The Panthers return three of the top four scorers from 2010-11, with Courtney Lindfors (9.2 ppg in 21 starts) and Sami Tucker (9.0 ppg in 27 starts), also back in 2011-12.

Exhibition Recap
Ashley Green scored 12 points and Courtney Lindfors scored 10 to help lead a balanced attack for the team in a 62-40 victory over Lewis University. The Panthers scored 14-consecutive points early in the second half to put the game away, with Green's layup with 11:32 to play giving Milwaukee a 48-25 advantage. The Flyers would cut the deficit to less than 20 points just once the rest of the way in the exhibition opener for both teams.

Youth is Served
The Panthers will indeed be a young squad this season, with the projected starting lineup now being comprised of two juniors, one sophomore and a pair of freshmen. In addition, six newcomers join Milwaukee in 2011-12, with sophomore Emily Decorah ready to play after sitting out a season ago due to transfer rules (although she will now miss the remainder of the season due to injury) and five true freshmen ready to start their collegiate careers.

A Case of the Runs
The game against Western Illinois Nov. 26 featured several impressive scoring runs by both teams. Milwaukee started the barrage with a 16-2 run where it held WIU without a field goal (two free throws) on 16 attempts to take control in the first half. Down 10 at intermission, the Leathernecks went on a 12-2 spurt to tie the game in less than two minutes. UWM then responded with runs of 11-3 and 15-2 to put the game away.

Head of the Class
Last season, Angela Rodriguez was named the league's newcomer of the year with good reason. She led all league freshmen in a number of categories, averaging 12.6 points, 3.0 assists and 1.5 steals per game. In fact, her points per game average was 1.9 points better than second place, while no other league freshman averaged even half as many assists. She also topped the league rookies in minutes per game (36.7), free throw percentage (.857) and three-point percentage (.421) and was second in threes made per game (2.2). In the nation, she was second among freshman in three-point percentage. Rodriguez broke the UWM freshman record for threes made in a season, was second in games started, and first in free throw percentage and minutes played. Among freshman guards in school history, she was also first in points, field goals made and scoring average.

Whole Lotta Threes
UWM broke the school record for three-pointers a year ago, finishing with 212 to break the old mark of 204. Milwaukee also hit a league-best 36.4 percent from downtown. The team finished 19th in the country in three-point percentage and 30th with 7.1 made per game.

Trial by Fire
Angela Rodriguez and Courtney Lindfors combined to make 50 starts last season, with Rodriguez starting 29-of-30 games a year ago. When they were in the starting lineup against Oklahoma together, they became the first freshmen duo in the program's Division I era to start a season opener for the Panthers.

Freshman 35
Courtney Lindfors went off for 35 points, 13 rebounds and three blocks in just her second collegiate game at Chicago State Nov. 16. She became the first freshman in school history with a 30-point game and posted the fastest first career double-double (2nd game). In addition to establishing a freshman single-game scoring record, Lindfors tied the sixth-most points in a game in school history. The former record for points in a game by a freshman was 28 by Daryl Schaffeld (Feb. 6, 1997) and Edwards (Feb. 25, 2006). Her 35 points tied for a Horizon League single-game high last season.

A-Rod's Early Impression
Angela Rodriguez had a 25-point outburst Dec. 1 against Bradley, draining six 3-pointers and coming away with three steals in 44 minutes. Her six 3-pointers were the most by a freshman, and tied for sixth in school history, while her 44 minutes were a freshman record. Rodriguez also paced Milwaukee with 16 points and seven rebounds in 39 minutes played in the season-opener vs. Oklahoma. Her 16 points were the second-most by a freshman in a season-opener in school history (Daryl Schaffeld, 17), while her seven rebounds tied for the most (two other times). Also, just two other freshmen have played even 30 minutes in a season opener, while just one player ever had played 39--Jen Greger as a sophomore in 1994-95. A freshman has led the team in scoring in a season-opener twice and rebounding twice, but no other freshman had ever led the team in both.

Postseason Awards
Lindsay Laur was named to the All-Horizon League First Team and Angela Rodriguez was named the League Newcomer of the Year last season. Courtney Lindfors was also honored, being named to the All-Newcomer Team with Rodriguez.

Live and in Living Color
Fans will have the opportunity to watch the Panthers all season long. The team will play six games on television, returning to Time Warner Sports 32 for five games. UWM's game at Oklahoma was also featured on the Sooner Sports Network and was also carried live on ESPN3.com.

Another 18 games will be carried live online on the Horizon League Network. For the Panthers' Sports 32 contests, Bob Brainerd will once again be calling the action, joined this season by former UWM great Lindsay Laur.

Hit Us at 920 on the Dial
Every Milwaukee regular season game will once again be available on the radio and online via AM 920 The Wolf. Scott Warras is back for his sixth season donning the headset. Fans can also catch Warras' call with the majority of the team's HLN webcasts.

Up Next
The Panthers start a two-game road swing that opens at Youngstown State Feb. 16 with a 6 p.m. CST tip.

 

 

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